Jazz: Weed rope and keels: 05 July 2011




From Anthony Haines

Weed, rope and keels


So i thought i would write a few words now the endless work lists, meetings and preparations’ are complete and the Jazz is underway across the pond. Preparing for a race of this length is never easy as you simply could have any number of conditions and boat scenarios to deal with however i always believe if you are well prepared sailing the race is simply a case of executing a task with a clear mind. Anyway enough of the deep psychological stuff.


Today on the jazz things have gone well we have again spent most of the day making reasonable progress with the spinnaker up we have seen a few of them so the changes have kept the lads on the bow busy which is always a good thing. Stu Pollard did a great job last night removing a combination of weed and fishing line from the rudder while underway in his undies and harness over the side (tied on with three ropes, boat canted right over and involved getting the weed off with his ankle – sea temp 7C, speed 10 kts) and was rewarded with a jug of warm water to clean up with.


At first light this morning we found we had been towing a three metre piece of rope around the bulb of the keel. We just couldn’t shake it off, so ended up having to take down the spinnaker, stop the boat , sail backwards by backing the main and then quickly re-hoisting which took some nimble crew work and helming by ‘Brenno’ on the helm.


Again we have had some pretty thick banks of fog to deal with and at one stage heard the rumble of an engine after being alerted by Craigs apparent radar hearing we all kept good watch to see a fishing trawler cross our bow about forty metres in front of us with mr fisherman on the back waving with his camara was pretty surreal i have to say.


Due to the light conditions we are all managing to get some good rest and it feels like we are doing a lot of eating. I think a good one here for the next race notes is to get the lads on the freeze dried three days before the start to get use to it going to keep that one under the radar as i think it might go down like the food. No in all honestly it is good stuff (honest Micky!) and all the calorie work Bonnie has done seems to working a treat.


The only thing we have had to do is limit cups of tea and coffee to one per person per day due to gas or at least until we are a bit further down the track. Our good friend Bert from Belgium is loving this as i am sure normally he would prefer to drink more coffee than water!


On deck today sailing has been on one gybe sitting at around 10 knots boat speed using a few different spinnakers to keep the mighty jazz gliding through the mist. Andy has been up the rig a couple of times with his Go Pro camera on his head shouting down “this is my favourite part of the day” he loves it and i have to say his enthusiasm is great to be around.


Craig (Lightning) had a session on the vang sprucing up a couple of warn strops with the hero kit, it has been a few years since i have sailed with him and i had forgotten what a real inspiration he is to myself and the crew. The boat is in great shape and the only thing we are missing at the moment are the conditions but we are all staying very positive and pushing forward in good spirits the jazz is on the launch pad we just need some ignition. On that note best regards to you all from all of us i will hand you over to the Commander to say despatch my update via our satphone.


Anthony (ski) Haines



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