This boat isn't the best place to suffer from wind...

Or a distinct lack thereof!

Over 1100 nautical miles covered and 1500 left to do, we’ve been under way for just over 6 days and the going has been slow.

A week earlier and we would have had classic and steady trade winds - normally 15-20 knots (nautical mph for those who don’t know), but frustratingly there is a big weather system up in the North Atlantic that is sucking all the wind away, and we’re stuck with 5-10 knots. Which when you’re sailing downwind isn’t enough for a boat this size.

Part of the problem is, these boats are fast, they can sail faster than the wind at times, but you need enough pressure/wind to keep the sails full. At the moment this isn’t the case.

So the engine has been on and we’ve had some rolly polly days, as the waves haven't been the best angle. 

Now, with 1500nm left, we’ve got wind forecast in the next day or so, and we should have some great sailing! Sod’s law it’s from right behind us, which means a lot of gybing (that’s when you have to turn the boat with the wind behind you, tacking is when you bring the bow through the wind) and therefore our sailing won’t be direct towards the finish line.

We’re also now juggling fuel consumption a little as we’ve had to do a lot more motoring than we thought, and we don’t have full transatlantic range! 

Some glorious sailing the other night, and we were flying along at around 14kts boat speed! It was great, helming (steering) at night with good breeze, with a big downwind sail up! Fun stuff! 

A few hours later, having a sleep in my cabin... BANG! 

Shouts for everyone to get on deck. The big Code0 sail was trailing in the water and now under the boat. We had blown the halyard (rope that holds sails up the mast).All sails down and then all crew trying to pull the sail up out of the water! To give you an idea the sail weighs several hundred kilos, and then with it being trapped under the boat with water in it too, this wasn’t easy.

Bit of drama and a bit of fun. 

We sorted it all, and were back underway soon after. Luckily nothing was damaged and no one was hurt. 

A much faster second half is coming up and we are looking forward to giving the boat a bit of a push! It’s an amazing machine, would be a big shame for me to cross the Atlantic on it and not see what it can do! 

We run 24 hour watch systems, so there are always 2 on deck, 3 hours on and 6 hours off. So not much good sleep. But the biggest challenge of all is trying to stay away from the snacks!! 

I challenge anyone to not pick at m&m’s or have biscuits with your tea, or nuts by the handful... it’s purely boredom snacking or to pass the time and I have no doubt that this is the case for a lot of you in your office and probably one of the biggest reasons your nutrition may not be as accurate as you think! But combine that with doing only around 3000 steps a day and it’s not ideal for the waistline! 

My tips for avoiding this??! Errrmmm I’ll let you know when I’ve worked it out! Suffice to say after 1 week I can really feel the lack of moving/exercise, lots of sitting down and eating. After 2 weeks it won’t be pretty haha but it just goes to show me that it's so important to move as much as you can so next time you go to get in that lift, take those stairs instead.

Hope you are all well back in the UK!

News from the outside world is always welcome, we have a Satellite email connection that is TEXT only (no photos), so if you do fancy sending me an email I will be able to respond. 

See you all soon! 


Ashton TurnerComment