Brief respite

Orange back up to speed - but how long will it last?

Thursday March 28th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Enjoying a small break in the wet conditions at the moment. The air is crisp and cool but managable without gloves for an hour or so till you actually need to do something then you realise that your fingers are frozen.

We are experiencing a small period of relief from the freezing fire hose and are doing about 22kts with mostly dry decks. The wind is shifting and we expect to gybe in the next few hours. We have done our fair share of sail changes lately. It is a very hard peel from Solent to gennaker especially when the gennaker is stowed below deck.

It's quite a crazy experience being on the front trampoline at night. Setting a sail up for a hoist or drop, boat speed around 25 knots you can see in the moonlight the tops of waves screaming past beneath you, sometimes inches from the level of the trampoline. You know that if the bows submerse a few more inches you will have your legs slapped out from beneath you and be sent, at pace in the direction the wave is travelling which could be over the side... When your making the dash from 'no mans land' to a jack line your heart rate picks up a few beats.

I love knowing that while half the world is sleeping, tucked away warm and dry, we are wet and cold running through the spray trying to squeeze a few more miles a day out of this record. I'm not trying to sound hard core, I just enjoy the feeling that what we are doing is adventurous and different.

We are about 1300 miles from OZ. I never thought I'd say it but I would love to jump off just for a little while...not because I am not enjoying the sea...I just miss the place.

We are still hanging on tender hooks to see what becomes of the weather systems in the next few days. It seems like we are always on the verge of getting smacked by a storm. Maybe this is what they meant by departing too late in the Southern Ocean season. You know there is always something brewing over that grey horizon because of the swell. Its a bit of a spooky place sometimes.

Wind instruments have died, last night I was driving in the dark at about 25kts when the TWA [True Wind Angle - vital for knowing where the wind is really coming from] began tacking and gybing....thought I was loosing my marbles. Just took a compass bearing and kept spearing her down track thinking if we gybe now we are in big trouble.

Time to crawl into a warm sleeping bag

Nick

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