Well, I can almost smell the mushy peas and fish & chips. Under 200 miles to go.
Yesterday I positioned further to the south than I would have if I had the use of the mainsail. This was to reduce the chance of having to go upwind in our slightly handicapped state. The initial tack south yesterday morning was ugly, actually sailing away from the finish, but now I have comfortable angle, close reaching at 10kts first with the working jib and now the light genoa.
Just ahead lies the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping corridors on earth. Freighters jam into this legendary waterway to and from England, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and many more. Brad Van Liew, who finished earlier today, sent me an e-mail joking that he thought he had the Spanish armada on his radar screen and that I’d better be ready! It’s no joke singlehanding at night in such an area where sleep just isn’t safe.
So…..yawn…..I’m stocking up on sleep today before we get there, while the boat zooms along. The radar is set with an alarm area, and automatically does a sweep every ten minutes. If a radar target enters the guard area then the alarm goes off and lets me know. Of course, radar “target” is just a figure of speech, I have the FVR (Freighter Vaporizer Ray) turned off…..;-)
It will be a wild couple weeks in England getting ready for Leg Two. Thanks to all the helpers and volunteers getting things organized while I’m on my way. A BIG special thanks to you contributors who keep pitching in to make this possible. If we had waited for that “big sponsor” we never would have arrived here. It is all of you are who are making it happen!
In a way it is good that this leg was so tough and I broke some stuff. Now those are things that we won’t have to worry about in the Southern Ocean. The boat has proved herself to be quite competitive, being faster in light air and as good upwind as any of the other boats. We give up some reaching, but it will be up to me tactically to make the most of what our strengths are. All I need is to get her ready for Leg Two, let’s do it!
Speaking of fixing things, I have temporarily juried the alternator bracket with a crude but effective reinforcement of seizing wire holding the bracket together. The batteries will be charged up till the end, so expect another note before I finish.
Supplier Sponsor highlight for today: Nobeltec Navigation software! I’m using Nobeltec Admiral, the best charting system available. Thanks to Nobeltec for supplying Ocean Planet with their “Passport” Vector digital charts, for the ENTIRE PLANET EARTH. I like their new weather overlay which can be downloaded free (three day forecasts) from Nobeltec in a manageable file size. A good deal when online at sea. If you are in the SF Bay Area, stop by and see Ocean Planet supporter Marilee Schafer at Waypoint (Nautical Supplies and Software) to check out the latest Nobeltec software.
It’s nice to see where you’re going, at 15kts (the wind is piping up…), in the rain….