Miranda Merron on the GOR: Land of the albatross

Miranda Merron on the GOR: Land of the albatross

Tuesday December 6 2011 Author: Miranda Merron Location: none selected

We have been at sea for 5 days now, and it certainly hasn't been dull. There was no gentle easing into the race. After the rude upwind conditions of the first couple of days, we crossed the ridge of high pressure and started sailing in the right direction and downwind under spinnaker, which is what all sailing should be like. It didn't last that long, since the cold front brought strong southerly wind - cold and extremely wet on Campagne de France, but nevertheless fast miles in generally the right direction, and ideal conditions for Nestor the autopilot to take over the driving while whoever is on watch supervises from the shelter of the companionway, cup of earl grey tea in hand.

The off watch person is tucked up in the bunk in a sleeping bag, not wearing foul weather gear, which is pretty luxurious. Inclement conditions eventually come to an end, and so yesterday morning we put up the small spinnaker and started flying downwind in sunshine and rather impressively large and quite scary waves. We have to steer in these conditions, and it is fast and fun, and occasionally a little hairy. At times over the last few days we have been in sight of BSL and Cessna, and so any thoughts about taking the spinnaker down last night were swiftly banished. It just required a lot of concentration while steering, which became even more critical in the darkness after the moon had set and the wind was peaking at 30 knots. Average boat speed for the latter part of the night was 14 - 15 knots, and there was Cessna a few miles to our south just before dawn., doing similar speeds. No peace out here!

We are nearly at the 42 South limit (for ice avoidance), so will be gybing shortly, which could be exciting in this sea state. It is a beautiful day and there are hundreds of birds which have been following the boat for hours. We are back in the land of albatross, and one occasionally glides within a few metres of the sails. Not a bad place to be on a Sunday afternoon!

Miranda/ Campagne de France

Add a comment - Members log in

You can ...

Ads from Miranda Merron