Banque Populaire V

Banque Populaire V

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Day 14 (almost)

Making great miles today, all on port gybe running ahead of a low pressure behind us..wind is 30 to 38 knots so we are changing between the small gennaker and Solent jib, as the wind alters, and keeping 2 reefs in the main..

We are going below the Crozet Islands now, and probably passing just south of the Kerguelens too..

We are down below 50S now so the globe is getting smaller here in a horizontal plane, so every 38.5 miles we sail east we are making a degree of longitude - we would have to do 60 miles on the equator to gain that same degree of longitude..So we are saving time by sailing at these latitudes..though does mean we are keeping a careful eye on the radar. This area has been thoroughly scanned for icebergs by satellite and none have been detected, but better safe than sorry..

Have mentioned our watch system before but thought would explain it better..

We have 14 crew in total.
2 off watch, Loick, who is the conductor of our orchestra, and grabs catnaps, and Juan, navigating, who hardly sleeps at or more usually both of them are up on deck for all maneuvers..they sleep in 2 bunks aft of the nav station, which is below the cockpit..

The remaining 12 are divided into 3 watches of 4, each led by a watch captain. Who are Yvon, Fred and Jean-Baptiste.
I am on watch with Yvon.

We stay on GMT right around the world and do not alter the watch times for the local time. It could not be easier really. For instance, on our watch we are on deck from 8 to 12, off watch and in our bunks 12 to 4, and on standby mode 4 till 8..then on deck again. So twice a day we are on watch, off watch and on standby..

Every 4 hours everyone is up and changing modes. One group is coming off the deck to get undressed for bed. Another group is getting out of bed and getting dressed for standby and the 3rd group are going on deck from their standby. As you can imagine, in a confined space that is constantly moving, there is an elaborate choreography to this, rather like ants moving inside an anthill..somehow it all happens, with no friction. You need a certain amount of purpose to get done what you need to do, and a good awareness, respect and tolerance for what everyone else is trying to get done too. Somehow it all works, and the boat never stops moving, with at least 4 on deck at all times...
For manouvers it's usually 9 or 10 people on deck, or 14 if it's near a watch change..

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