all of April 4 we make up lots of ground that has been lost on a long starboard tack. ,later that night the steering very difficult the only light being the luminescence of our wake and the breaking wave tops. In the dark at helm change I am in a tether tango with Dickie and at one point end up untethered and with a tehther either side of my legs while on the helm.
It is now very chilly now always 6 degrees or less plus the wind chill..
In morning we are greeted to a raging sea and wind ,2 to 4 metre waves 5 on occasions ,a double reefed main and staysail with 25 to 30 knots of wind. We are now going East on port tack at the equivalent latitude of Melbourne. I,break out the drysuit .Multiple layers are required underneath to keep somewhat warm. My hands are always bloody cold.
hoist the Yankee 3 but it gets too spicy and it is dropped
the sun has made an appearance!!
look outside before dinner and tonight’s watch and it’s blue skies a rolling sea a single reefed main and staysail, still going upwind on port ,one day the upwind will end.
The early morning watch come up and the Yankee 3 is up ,I go to look at trim and the top of sail is flapping but not the bottom. A small grind of the sheet and it makes no difference On closer inspection the halyard is on the top spreader and the top 2 hanks at least are broken.
We drop the sail and it is a mess. The yankee 2 is sitting in the sail locker after being repaired . We bring it up on deck and set it. The is an ongoing rolling swell and light winds that eventually die out and the sun comes out,not something we commonly see out here.
Am on mother watch ,again must be anew week ,but I go up help launch code 2 spinnaker ,nice to finally have it flying. ,The guitar comes later given the condition . The two main songs being Eagle Rock , and our theme song Adventure of a Lifetime.
I have no idea why inthe playlist of our 27 yo ,UK female AQP ,Mary is a hit from a 1971 , Melboune based band.
That night lie in bed sleeping feeling and listening to the downwind motion ,have we turned the corner on a fast track to Seattle.
after doing breakfast ,and finishing mother watch and go up helm for an hour and crack out 11 miles under kite.
We hit 14.5 during the lunchtime meeting.
The whole day is under kite for the other watch and it is dropped in the evening.
Now we are white sail reaching at night and averaging 11 knots all along the rhumb line making up lots of ground.
eventually the wind comes ahead by evening . F me I thought this was it downhill to Seattle but not yet !! 1 reef ,2 reefs and then we are dropping the yankee 2 in 25 knots ,and it is a brute with the sail just sail pulling out of our hands but of course we do it.
Now it’s reef 2 + staysail and eventually task is a COG but bear away to keep the apparent wind at below 30 knots!!
It’s a long watch with only 2 of us ,yes me and Sir Clyde ,able to helm in the conditions and poor visibility.
it is bitterly cold.
<span;>next watch put in r3
<span;>wake up to r2 and staysail 20 knots of breeze
by the lunchtime meeting the next day we’re in 13 knots and are back under full main and the Yankee 2.
That night we are beam reaching ,maybe the wind is finally going to turn behind. There are times I am on deck and the watch says ‘ ohh Rick’s playing with the sails again’. Now I used to take it as an insult until one day later in the race Mary said to me ‘ Rick ,it’s not a bad thing !!’ So this was a night like that. I went to the bow and looked at the headsails , It can be difficult in the dark to know if they are correctly trimmed as the tell tales on the leeward(back) side of the sail are hard to see. So I get the crew to let the sail out until it flaps a bit then bring it back in. Most people over trim the sails . The first ease of the big yankee headsail ,if so(if it is overtrimmed) ,is usually accompanied by a sensation of the boat accelerating. I come back to the stern ,Mike(skipper) is on deck ,says ‘Rick ,we’ve just gained knot of boat speed.
Now I have to make mention of Barry (and his assistant Colin from theother watch) . Barry spent basically a whole day of watches in the sail locker at this point repairing headsails. Without Barry ,Sanya would never have made it to Seattle the way we did.