Day 17.7 09 Feb 1730 22N 13W
More easy miles under our 3 hulls today, as we slide once more into the Tropics..A few sail changes this morning from gennaker to solent and back to gennaker are a welcome bit of exercise. I have taken to doing some circuit training in the cockpit during the night watch, just to keep fit. Reminds me of all the boxercise classes I did at David Lloyd Southampton as part of the training for this trip.)
Earlier in the trip I mentioned the motion down below was like a underground train on a motocross course. Now it is more just a normally bumpy ride on the Piccadilly line, so you do need to hang on to keep your balance, but you are not going to get flung across the cabin as before..
And at mealtimes down below it’s a cross between the underground at rush hour, a school cafeteria and the game of twister, as everyone moves in an elaborate dance in the galley to get food, sit down to eat it and get up to wash up without upsetting the equilibrium of the hive. Its everyman for himself in a very polite French way which works perfectly. Being English and culturally programmed to queue; meant I was never going to wash up my bowl initially, I have learnt you just need to jump in there!
Still wonderfully enjoyable to steer this boat VMG downwind, and I feel that after 17 days have certainly got better, and are able to keep it in a very narrow groove for longer and longer, overtaking more and more waves at 25 to 27 knots of boatspeed in 16 knots of wind until one wave finally blocks you and slows you down to 21 knots..Come up for a few seconds by 4 degrees, labour up that wave and ever so slowly pivot over the top of it to start accelerating down the face. Trying to resist the temptation to bear away immediately, instead watching the speed rise, making sure the main hull does not lift clear and spook the trimmers, and then bear away smoothly that 4 degrees, but no more and get into that 27 knot groove again, watching every facet of the waves in front, ready to come up a fraction, powering up the boat in anticipation of any slowing waves in our path.
We are doing 40 minute shifts on our watch, so although we are on delivery its full concentration for each 40 minutes, both for the practice for the real thing again and just for the sheer fun of it.
Ok, bye for now