PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MAIL.
Friday 2pm UTC and all's good on Pata Negra. The music is playing on
the aft deck (we've concluded that Aussies have a strange taste in
music) - the boat is drying out and sleep is all topped up.
Last 36 hrs have been pretty tough with 20-25kts from the SE meaning
we've been hard on the wind is a very very choppy sea state. We've
moved into the full Gulf stream which flows in a meandering fashion
through these waters. It's been warm, as the stream flows 28 deg
temp, but with a flow rate of up to 5 knots, it makes the sea
extremely rough. Pata Negra, with it's wide bottom and heavy chine
generally doesn't like that as falls off the wave with a huge bang.
Waves over the deck mean there is little air below deck and everything
/ everyone is wet through. However - its warm!
Now a bit for the sailors: We've been pretty fortunate that we've
been largely above and in front of forming depressions which means the
wind has been steady from the SE and we've largely sailed the rhum
line. As we got into the streams the water temp quickly rose from 18
to 28deg C and we got on a nice flow for the last 36 hrs. So although
we've been managing about 8.5 to 9 knots boat speed we've been flushed
along at 12 knots over the ground. We've just popped out of a flow
and hope to pick up another one soon. We might say it's skill, but
we've had some luck that we're not so fast to run into the high
pressure ahead which is why you may have seen the other boats take
radical action to avoid running out of wind. So far, this has worked
well and put us (physically) ahead of some of the key competition.
700 miles on a stbd tack close hauled.... definitely something to
Routing so far showing a Wednesday 10th finish, so looks like no
records (and a few excuses for being late back to work).
Last night we saw some ships and cruising yacht - quite unusual
considering the vastness of this place. Also Andy was busy repairing
bits of the boat which did give a fab firework display as he formed a
fix with the angle grinder. Sparks everywhere in the dark night! You
have to be creative... you can't carry spares for everything and you
have to make things work.
Aladin, Alice, Scarlett & Andreas are the younger end of the crew but
definitely not short of talent. Scarlett's driving consistently above
100% on polar performance and Aladin's all round skills from living on
a boat since the age of 8 show through. It feels we've 9 drivers and
a navigator on board, which dramatically helps keep the focus through
the night hours. Andreas in the same way tackles every action with
ease demonstrating years of sailing experience on the advanced race
circuits. An amazing amount of experience and capability that will
no doubt help their sailing careers in the future.
Might not be an update tomorrow. Forecast is 25knts on the nose again - oh joy!