2 mins under 18 days to Australia! Juan just came on deck to say that we had passed Cape Leewin..
I had daydreamed before the trip about getting to Oz in 20 days, and how incredible that would be, but less than 18, just amazing, I never even considered it possible..
Again passed a major milestone whilst our watch has been on deck, Equator, Cape Agulhas, now Leewin.
Wind is up whilst this low passes below us. Wind 35 to 42 knots. 3 reefs in main now and Solent or staysail. Keeping our speed under control as there are some steep seas that we don't want to be nosediving into at 40 knots, and thereby straining the boat..still surfing to 35 at times..
It's now 1615 in the afternoon boat time, and it's going to be dawn in 3 hours - we are certainly on the other side of the world now to Europe...
Pos at 43N. 119.5E
Wind 30k WNW
Speed 27 - 34kn
3 reefs, small gennaker + staysail
Today with winds of 35+ was all about not breaking the boat, and we were sailing daylight hours with the turbo boost turned right down. During the night (the afternoon in Europe), the wind and sea have moderated a little, so we put up the small gennaker, and speeds have increased.
On trimarans, much more so than monohulls you are limited in speed by the seastate. In winds of 35k you could easily sail at up to 45 knots but you would be at a big risk of breaking the boat, as tens of tons of solid water crashed into the beams as you plunged through each wave you overtake - that's a lot of energy to dissipate. There is a crossover point where you start to go slower in increasing winds, due to the increasing seastate..we probably found that crossover today at 30 knots of wind. Another day there might be a different crossover. If we were near to land to windward the crossover might be a lot higher, as the sea would be flatter; or if the wind had just arrived, and the sea had not had time to build, or if there was a current in the same direction as the wind..there are a lot of factors that affect it, but basically we have to very careful with the speed or the boat and the balance of the sails to avoid nosediving the boat too often and too violently.
A couple of sayings we wrote on our galley wall one night as we were tearing along near the Cape of Good Hope, are good to keep in mind when the seastate is up..
An English saying....'To finish first, first you have to finish'
And a French one from Thierry Chabagny...."Qui veut aller loin, ménage sa monture ! "
'If you want to travel far, you have to look after your mount!'