Cool as a cucumber

Mike Golding takes heavy conditions in his stride - Route du Rhum update

Tuesday November 12th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Miranda Merron reports from on board UUDS

Hello All,

Filthy Bay of Biscay conditions out here but sunshine, which is a pleasure after the rain of the first 24 hours. It is extremely bumpy and this is a French keyboard so is taking a while to type.

Well, it wasn't a glamorous start, but have never manoeuvred the beastie alone in close proximity to others. We managed to move up the fleet by tacking on shifts all of the first night - 15 tacks I think. Had quite an exciting time in the shipping lanes in thick fog, but nowhere near as much fun as off Ushant, timed it perfectly with a front and its associated features: massive wind shifts, 10 to 30knots in 0.2 seconds, heavy rain and thick fog, and a treacherous lee shore, hemmed in on the other side by the traffic separation scheme.

I am pleased to report that I can tack this boat very quickly when the tide is taking one towards the rocks while the wind has a coffee break. Last night was clear, lots of stars and lots of wind, but dry at least. Lots of ships too, but having pretty much omitted to sleep or eat during the first 24 hours, I got going on those tasks last night, no incidents though had a close look at a number of vessels.

This afternoon the wind vane fell off the top of the mast, so now have no idea how much breeze there is, except plenty. Poor boat is slamming badly, and keeping tea inside the mug is challenging. It didn't take long for me to start talking to myself, and some
imaginary person during the dark hours. Quite entertaining this solo stuff.

Miranda

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