Banque Populaire V

Banque Populaire V

Friday, 9 December 2011

Day 16

A relatively slow day today, with lighter wind speeds than forecast, and we are having to gybe downwind in the 15 knot westerly breeze, so not great progress eastwards. However we are still taking miles out of Groupama3, the current record holder, who are now over 2000 miles back, and the wind should increase again tonight, though remaining westerly..

In the last 5 days we have advanced Eastwards at amazing pace, I look at the wall chart in the cabin, and think of what terrain we would be crossing if we were travelling the same latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. 5 days ago we would have been crossing France, today we are in Eastern Kazakhstan and about to cross into Mongolia tomorrow. That would be a hell of a fast trip by land! If you drew a line straight up from us, it would cross a lot of Indian Ocean before landing in India, travelling up through Nepal, China, Kazakhstan and finally Russia. To our south there is the icy Antarctic continent..

Hi again..

Today the wind remained light most of the day, and it allowed the team to get a lot of little jobs done around the boat, without getting washed off the deck. Pym and I put grease into the mast ball which was about a half hour job, which should be done every week. That entailed disassembling some metal fittings in the sea spray which meant for some cold fingers afterwards..

Now the wind is back over 20 knots and we are back to closer to our usual 30 knots of speed, with one reef, medium gennaker and staysail on port gybe..The swell is from behind so the boat is sliding smoothly, overtaking one long swell after another. It's night time now, but dawn should be appearing around midnight..

It looks like we are going to stay on this port gybe now till Cape Leewin, getting headed down to an Easterly course as our wind shifts from the West to the North West..

There are about 20 small petrels flying with us, that are sometimes passing between the main hull and the windward hull, and flying out underneath the windward hull, just before it touches the water..amazing acrobatic displays..

It was time for a change of inner thermals today, after a very long and hot sailchange, so had a 'shower' with baby wipes and am now wearing shiny new black Mustos and feeling very good. If I am careful about staying dry, this should be good till around Cape Horn and back into the Tropics..

All the best!


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