Race 14 - Day 5
How are you doing this ‘screaming along’ Sunday, enjoying a slow start or busy chasing up those outstanding tasks or long standing projects you have promised yourself to complete? This end we have been enjoying the delights of the North Atlantic Gulf Stream conveyor belt and even the Yankee 1 has been hitting speeds of 16-17kts, in glorious sunshine, with deep blue skies, the sea covered with charging white horses.
There might not have been a ‘Fizz Friday’ on board Seattle, but since we last spoke there has been much champagne sailing. Until just after breakfast on Saturday morning we had been sailing under the kite, initially on the Code 1 and then on Friday morning we peeled to the Code 2 as the wind increased. Then we enjoyed a good period of time of jogging along at a decent speed, in perfect conditions, flying the spinnaker at a 60° apparent wind angle most of the time, in the summer sunshine with some good old fashioned Rock n Roll playing up on deck with lots of singing-along by Kraken Watch. Like a steam train we were doing the ‘Locomotion’, ‘Getting our Kicks on Route 66’, like ‘Great Balls of Fire’ we were chasing down Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam (Hi Josh, Maisie and of course Kitty), who were just in front of us. On days like these I certainly love my job, (don’t tell Mark or Dale though, they’ll cut my pay!)
We have taken a short diversion off the Great Circle Route, to try and utilise the Gulf Stream current to push us towards the UK, hoping that the 3 to 4+ knots, at times, of current in the right direction, will more than cancel out the additional miles. We have also utilised the current to switch to our Yankee 1 so we could free up one of our primary winches, which stopped working completely, and is necessary to fly the spinnakers efficiently. That winch work is now complete and once more we are flying with the kite up.
Clearly, we are stuck in a tight ‘race within a race’ with the other six boats who opted for the rhumb line route, but we are stuck in another race as well. That race is with the weather and a wind hole that will cross the whole fleet midweek – if we can get to the other side we can hopefully avoid the great Clipper Race wind hole park up, which would be great. Mathematically on paper, it is possible by achieving an average of 10.4kts VMG, currently it's 13.4kts, but I am sure Mother Nature will have something to say about that equation.
I think I may have just spent my last night in shorts on deck for this trip. We are also approaching the point that all the Round the Worlders will be able to say they have sailed across every line of longitude on the globe, we are just 200nm short, so by the next time we chat hopefully this will have happened.
Enjoy your Sunday whatever you are doing and don’t forget its National Chocolate Wafer Day - something to have with your morning coffee, maybe.
Standing by this channel,
David & #1