Been a busy day on Pata Negra since the 11am start this morning. A short tacking battle at the start between the rocks and current added an "inshore" feel to this 3,000 mile race. About 1 hour later, things settled down onto being full close hauled to Starboard as we headed for the south of Nantucket Island and the shoals around it.
We've settled now into our 3,3,4 watch system that was put together brilliantly by Aladin. 3 hrs working the boat, 3 on standby and 4 in bed. Wea're in pairs doing this so I'm with Jens (who's joined us from Finland) and it keeps 6 on deck or ready all the time.
I've just finished a Chicken Stirfry (Not Freeze dried! :) ) which seemed to have done the trick with all considering its been raining all day. At one point, so hard we could fill water bottles from the flood pouring off the main... wind has been generally steady but lifted us really nicely upto the waypoint, meaning no tacks.
The run up to this event is always stressful - there's a hell of a lot to do in ensuring the team and boat are ready for 2-3weeks at sea safely. But at the start today, I (along with others on the crew) could feel the stress of on shore life just disappear. Offshore racing is not everyone's cup of tea, but the incredible feeling where you feel a team building stronger together, collaborating and focussing on a common task is amazing. With the vast experience on this boat that has come as far as Australia, Chile (sort of!), France and the UK, you can feel a want to win... we're definitely focused on it.
Catch you all soon! Will have some photos when the rain stops (Friday???!)
Chris on Pata Negra