The last 48 hours has been interesting to say the least, the weather has changed substantially, we're getting on top of all the smaller jobs that were required and generally the boat is in better order.
After the last few days of pretty intense sailing where we have been averaging a solid boat speed the last 48 hours has shown a significant change in the weather patterns that we are seeing. Yesterday entailed little wind and today even more so, where we saw an average of no more than 10 knots. It has therefore been a good time to be able to take stock, re-group, and get a better understanding of where we are as a boat.
On Deck the intensity has dropped somewhat but we have had to have our wits about us, trying to take advantage of every small, extra puff of air that comes our way, this has meant that the helm has had to pay constant attention to the course of the boat, where the wind is coming from (we've noticed some small shifts round to the east) and most importantly our boat speed.
Most boat racers will tell you that stronger winds are easier to sail in but races can be won and lost in the lighter conditions. Therefore the trim of the sails, our weight in the boat and also the best course that we can steer is imperative to getting the most out of the boat. In such conditions we cannot rely on the wind to help us along, we must be gentle with everything as any large and heavy movements almost shake the wind out of the sails.
Concentration in these conditions is therefore vital and maintaining our vigilance is incredibly important. For the helm steering the best course is tricky as they have to follow the spinnakers movements to ensure that the most wind is passing into the sail, likewise they cannot be to violent with their steering as this creates more drag over the rudders. For the person with the sheet, they are to be in continual contact with the people on the winches to trim the sail itself. Again violent and large movements will ensure that any wind that might have been filling the sails is quickly punched out. Keeping up boat speed in conditions such as the ones that we are experiencing is probably the most important, as regaining any momentum that is lost is incredibly hard and takes an awful long time. Enough of trimming for now, it's important but not the entirety of our lives.
Today has been quite pivotal, all of the kites have been repaired and in the words of our resident repair man Dale, Hasaarrrrr!!!!. This means that we have once again got a full sail locker to utilise and hopefully not damage. Furthermore we have been able to do a full stock take of the items that we have aboard in terms of sale repair. Our chief victualler, Nicky, has also taken stock of the extra foods that we have in the galley and our bosun, Martin has also gotten on top of our requisitions list.
Further to this, during happy hour at lunch, we had a small celebration to congratulate one of the team Ryan on his anniversary to his partner Tasha, who is aboard one of the other boats Henri Lloyd (8 years).
That's about it for now anyway.