Trans Atlantic Race Start

15th September

After the usual parade of sail we started straight off Portimao in 10 to 15 knots of breeze from the sw.We had a small triangular course before heading across the Atlantic toward a course down the African coast . Good start on starboard tack but then crossed by several yachts on port. Single tack though onto layline, 4th round first mark ,round 2 buoys then set course for Uruguay . Initially on the wind but wind gradually going behind as evening comes on ,plesant temperatures and pleasant sailing by time we we’re off watch we are close reaching under white sails but spinnaker likely to be set overnight. Somewhere in the front 9 positions and whose tactics will be right are going to revealed in the morning.

16th September

Up at 0400 for our morning watch and it is light winds ,code 1 up ,wind gradually going north. Heading south for African coast ,couple of well timed gybes get a further 2 miles ahead of Punta during the watch.
At watch change I get hauled up the leech of the mainsail on a spinnaker halyard with a snatch block connecting me to the topping lift ,and repair the first batten pocket .
It’s warming up in the galley as we go south.
Had alittle visitor from land ,a little bird but unfortunately RIP.
Our evening watch again light winds from North code 1, sailing in company of Dare to Lead,Halong bay, Punta.
A bit of backgammon was played on deck ,
beautiful sunset nice evening .

17th September

Still light weather downwind sailing with the code 1 up. The scheds say we’re last but we know otherwise .A bit of excitement on our watch as pod of dolphins turned up this morning ,we then
then gybed as we came closer to land.
Very pleasant on the deck with in the 5-10 knot breeze but very hot below now we’ve baked cake.
Seem to get woken up each time a spinnaker comes down at least today it was 2 pm instead of 2 am .Found a small tear in code 1 which we repaired and replaced kite with code 2 for our evening watch.The breeze now steadier at 10 -12 knots and gives me a chance to get all our watch throughthe helm.
Now steady sailing under the code 2 with the wind likely to increase as we continue south along the African coast .
The 1800 positions come in and they say we jumped from last to second .Importantly we are the most Southerly yacht Seumas and Jorge planning is coming to fruition .

18th September

On watch 0400, midnight support crew had made bread and porridge with yoghurt(made on boat ) ,beautiful morning with 15 knots downwind under the code 2 , holding off Halong and gaining onDare to led and Qingdao. All our helms did well. Looks like we will continue on this gybe for some time,best part of 24 hours. Officially we are in second place but we are well east and south of Punta del Este whom the scheds say is first.
Downwind on starboard all day and when we come on watch at 1600. Pleasant breeze in warm conditions ,15 + knots wind drops then increases at end of our shift. Our helms do a great almost straight down the line to the planned waypoint. We make significant ground on Halong Bay with their lights now off our starboard quarter when we go off watch. The updates put us now in 1st position . There are only 5 yachts near the front of the race with some yachts now 18 hours behind. Punta are somewhere east and we think are going through the Canaries whereas us and the others are going between the Canaries and the African coast. When we gybe later tonight the positions will be better revealed. I hope the watch that have taken over can steer as straight or straighter than we. On another note we spotted the spume from a whale today among some circling birds though we did not see the whale

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