Banque Populaire V

Banque Populaire V

Monday, 12 December 2011

Day 17

Another gentler day for most of today, with lighter winds than expected. But tonight a new low approaching so winds on the way up. 32 knots now.

Should be passing Cape Leewin in the morning - so will soon be south of Australia!

Tomorrow evening the front will be passing from this current low, so we will gybe onto starboard and start edging southwards again.

Out here we have been experiencing 'maxi trimaran jet lag' as the sun time is changing so fast. Yesterday I was woken the usual 20 mins before my standby started, and had no idea whether it was going to be day or night's always completely black in the bunk area, as there's no hatches and the black carbon does not reflect any light from further aft in the boat..I mentioned this feeling to the other 3 watchmates, and they all had had exactly the same slightly disorientating sensation at that time. We have been used to Atlantic time for a long while..

The Squadron of small acrobatic 'fighter jet' grey petrels that flitted so close to us yesterday, have been replaced by the 'heavy bombers' - big, black petrels that elegantly swoop and wheel around the boat, careful to not get too close to the turbulent wind downwind of our sails.

Did the big ones come in overnight and say, 'hey little fellas, we want our ball back, it's time to play somewhere else'? Or were the grey jets called back by Fighter Command?
We will never know, but its great to be surrounded by these amazing, and intelligent creatures. It's a real privilege of this trip to be almost flying with these birds, like them we are using just the currents of air to move across the seas, though unlike them we have only our one giant wing…

I remember that in the Vendee solo race , that if I quickly came on deck, there would often be an albatross right above the cockpit, just 5m away, having a good look. As soon as my head appeared it would drop back to 100m away and follow the boat for hours or often several days, to then come back for a sneaky look when I went below again! On land, you can apparently walk right up to an albatross on it's nest, but they seem much more wary at sea, in their element, strange...


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