Marco Nannini in the Route du Rhum - the three finned shark

Marco Nannini in the Route du Rhum - the three finned shark

Sunday November 14 2010 Author: Marco_Nannini Location: none selected

Looking at Troussel and Ruyant converging on their tracks is like watching the slowest ever replay of a Hadron colldier experiment, if they hit  each other will that prove something useful from a scientific point of view?

I stepped on a dead flying fish earlier, sushi puree, didnt look pretty, no surprise the japanese never thought of it. Another i managed to rescue and throw back in the water, i saw them in swarms jumping in the air today, i thought they only took the jump at night when they feel at their loneliest or during the festivities. Actually someone wrote to me explaining they jump as they think you are a predator, do i look scary in this? So i took the camera and strapped it to a board that would tilt and plunge, so i could empathise with the life of a flying fish for a second, pretty much look like a three finned shark escaped from a freak show. Now i understand.

Yesterday started off as the best day of Route du Rhum so far, then things slipped in standards a bit, like a restaurant after it has passed its hygiene inspection. By night we had cockroaches all over the place.

The wind had filled in during the previous night and kept increasing, i held the masthead kite as far as i dared then changed to the smallest spinnaker as the breeze got up to 20-25 kt, i flew down exactly on course on a reachy angle for the best part of 12 hours, averaging 12kt at times and catching up many miles on the others, I managed by pure pot luck to film the boat as it took off for my fastest solo surf yet as the front passed over my head and was hit by a 35kt squall and just held on skidding on the water, close to 22kt, walls of spray everywhere, you could not ask for better, i grinned like when you finish assembling an IKEA flat pack piece of furniture and there's some resemblance with what you bought.

After that a sequence of events unfolded whereby dream turned into nightmare, it was a package holiday when the charter flight is cancelled and you are stranded in manila.

I dont want to bore you with too many details, as it gets tedious and technical, like a nerd trying to convince you this or that episode of the Star Wars trilogy is best but basically when hoisting my staysail it got stuck, wouldn't go up nor down and thought i had to climb the mast but the swell was too much to consider it. It took me several hours before i set
sail properly again, eventually the sail came down altogether, i have textile hanks, three ripped off as i was trying to winch the sail down, the rest are ok, sail in the water, big swell, not pretty... At this stage, exhausted i started being hit by rain squalls, no wind, but buckets of rain like i've only seen in the Caribbean before, there was lightening in the distance and thought of Bart Boosman, who was hit by one after OSTAR last year before sailing back to Europe. It was impossible to go anywhere, at one point i managed a full 360 on the same tack, but as always it cleared and carried on... the whole night things kept changing one way or another and something needed doing, stacking, stacking,
reefing, I had exhausted myself to the point i pretty much passed out below. In fact so much so that this is the first time i sit by the chart table since yesterday, i started making several mistakes, including losing a spinnaker sheet due to carelessness and a nasty fall in the cockpit and i knew i had passed the limit and only sleep would restore some sense in what i was doing.

It took many times of taking to my bunk before i could think straight again, the heat during the day is quite numbing too, i'm sailing in my underpants and still gasp for air.

I've had a slow day today in light ever variable winds peppered by three or four temporary autopilot malfunctions, no big deal, but once while i was asleep and didnt wake up, i think i spent half an hour with the sails the wrong side not going anywhere.

I'm heading now west, for some strong winds, it may be another day and a half before i can tack for Guadalupe. I think and hope that by tomorrow we will start to see the benefit of my routeing choice, as the guys in the south will be straight into the wind i should have a slightly better angle plus i should reach the tack point first and get the following winds. I'm referring to my peers in the ranking obviously not the collider boys... we shall see.

Add a comment - Members log in

You can ...

Ads from Marco_Nannini