Day 22.4 1700 13 Feb
Tradewinds are blowing at full force now, 25 to 30 knots with a good sized sea running, as we beat north towards home. On the way down 17 days ago, when we were downwind we had the opposite problem, with the tradewinds being very light and the seas flat calm..We are actually going faster now than when we were in the same place and going downwind!
This trip has been almost all VMG running downwind from the moment we started so a little upwind just restores the balance..
Still 2 reefs and the ORC (large storm jib) and we are adjusting the traveller and mainsheet to control the speed over the waves. Today we are reaching a little more to have a better angle to the waves and reach more favorable wind directions sooner.
Its extremely wet on deck, so although it’s the tropics and the water is 28C I have got Musto foul weather top, waterproof shorts, and a headgear arrangement of baseball cap, goretex balaclava and Oakley snowboarding goggles. As I chose a top with no hood, for lightness and flexibility, this is a sort of removable hood system..Works well for me, but probably 80 percent of the crew have conventional hoods..
Driving is particularly wet, with the spray coming at you at 30-40 knots it is a lot more comfortable to drive with goggles on, than constantly squinting and ducking to avoid the incoming spray. Particularly at night when you can be hit by a big lump of salt water with your eyes fully open, that’s a little painful for a few seconds!
Sleeping a little hard to achieve in these conditions, but you need to get in the bunk just to clear the space for the 14 people on board. I am in the top bunk of 4 and am using the purchase system to angle the bunk almost to the ceiling to make sure I don’t fall out if I do doze off!
That’s all for now, everything fine on board, the team are happy and we are making some good miles back to the barn..as they would say in the US..