The wind is slowly picking up now, up to 18-25 knots, and the mighty Banque Populaire is beginning to get into her stride again. Starting to see flashes of 35knots on the speedo as we sail downwind with one reef in the main, big gennaker and staysail..seas are still small, but we are getting ready for some heavy air downwind action in the near future.
One of the jobs is to change the trim of the boat - to move weight to the stern, so the bows do not plough into the waves that we are overtaking.. That meant making a human chain of 10 people inside the long, thin central hull to move about 600kg of food and equipment from the middle to the stern..next is moving the 2 gennakers we are not using to the back beam, behind the helmsman.
As the wind builds up towards Cape Horn we will be swoping gennakers from the big to the small, and putting in a second reef in the main. Then possibly going smaller than that closer to the Horn.
Looks like an arrival at the Horn tomorrow late morning..
Over the last few days we have been traveling over some of the most remote places on the planet. We have been over 1500 miles from any land at times, so no other human being except us 14 were likely to be in that enormous circle with a radius of 1500 miles - as any other vessels would be unlikely here.
Even the seabirds have been few in number here, ..the albatross have stayed away as there has not been enough wind and waves for them to soar on, and for many of the petrels we are too far from land.
However, today the we have had about 8 small petrels flying with us, with black head and tail, white body and the most graphic white and black camouflage style markings on the wings. They looked like little fighter jets, and fly like them too, pulling big G forces as they spin around the boat. Saw 3 of them in close formation, turning as one, like a jet display team, fantastic..
The thing that struck me as they flew with us for the whole 4 hour watch, is when do they eat? I have not seen any bird yet pick anything up out of the water, they seem to be using us purely for entertainment, and even if they are not, and there is a purpose to flying with us, we are being well entertained by them..