Crew member on GER59 Red

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

Good morning from the tropical zone of the Trades. Another wonderful night in the light of a beautiful moon (perhaps why I always get in a writing mood during the night shifts?). Many people celebrate today the Nikolaus-Fest. The kids find sweets and small gifts in their boots. We wouldn't put anything of value now in our seaboots. After 11 days on the ocean they have their own unpleasant microclimate. (although we mostly wear crocs these days).

After so many days on the boat, we are completely in the routine. But what does that mean for four guys on a spartanic Class 40 in the middle of the Atlantic ocean? First of all it makes us think that our almost empty hull is a kind of very trustworthy home, where you perform everything which is neccessary for the well-being of its crew. We eat our Müslis in the morning, nuts and small sweetbars during the day and then comes the afternoon feast: dried salami or cabanossi with small rounds of pumpernickel. Drinks: Real Coffee (we even have a Coffee press on board), some tea and the rest is bottled water only. In the evening we have our freeze-dried food, mostly from the polish producer Lyo, the rest is good old Turmat from Norway. Freeze-dried food has improved immensely during the last years, especially Lyo, who won awards and whose meat and potatoes taste almost wonderful. Try Beef Stroganoff or Pork in Dill Sauce...

Routine also means sailing, of course. Everyday we look out on the same ocean, from the same boat. But every day, every moment on the ocean, is also very different than what you have seen the hour before. As autopilots are not allowed in this race, one of us is always on the helm, steering RED as quickly as possible across the bumpy waves. The other is assisting with trimming the sheets, feeding the helmsmn, and throwing the awfully stinky flying fishes which land in the cockpit as quickly overboard as possible (this night I got hit by one in the chest and now I have the smell in my nose whenever I wear my wetgear jacket).

Routine also means getting along as a crew, as we all depend on each others abilities, in sunny times, but also in crises like the night before. We handle the boat with very few words, everybody knows what to do, where and when to pull or ease. This is the best crew ever! But if we don't need words for sailing, what do four guys talk about the whole day and during all those magical nights? Well, not what you might think: girls are in some ways off topic. Of course we talk about boat stuff - how we could have done something better or improve this and that. We talk about our feelings, life on the sea, but also issues at home. How the partner is doing, goals and dreams in life, parents, family, even politics. And sometimes we are simply quiet and just enjoy being on this ocean, in this world, in this life.. Sounds all too boring? Well, come along...

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Crew member on GER5500 Broader View Hamburg

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

Finally the Genaker is up and the boat is running fast. Its been a great trip so far!!

Today we will cross the half way point and to celebrate that we all enjoy a cold beer and a nice meal. The crew is doing very well as we finally reached the Passat-trade-wind which all of us expected sooner. The first week was rough, tough good for us. With the wind coming from the front we were challenged with some more weather tactics, but due to our excellent navigator and skipper we were able to position our self in a good and motivating spot. It has been an amazing experience so far. We've had our ups and downs but all in all everybody is happy. A few days ago we saw some wales really close by (little scary to be honest) and every now and then some Dolphins give us company. Night sailing is really impressive as we are chased by a trail of glowing plankton which looks beautiful. During the night we have a light that shines into our sails for us to see, but it also attracts flying fish, so that we have to clear our boat regularly from dead fish on deck :D Ill have to say that although we have been sailing for such a long time its hard to understand how ginormous the Atlantic really is. The surrounding is pretty much the same now as it was on the second day.... water..... But never the less are we looking forward to sail well and maybe even lead the father-son challenge...looking good right now ;)

best regards from the middle of the Atlantic

Benedikt Woge + Broader View Crew

Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

Dec 6th 2017

Crew member Thalita explains:

Why do I cross the Atlantic?

I have learned you always have two options. Either you stay in Europe through

the winter and freeze or you go to the Caribbean and enjoy "coco locos".

The decision is quite easy. Then there are two options again, you can

either fly to the Caribbean or sail. Why would you want to fly if you can

sail?!

I’ve sailed across the ocean for last two years and both times I just loved

it. It was not always Deck 4, 2, 5 or sleeping. Sometimes it can get really

tough, soaking wet at 3am, at the end of your watch and you have to change

the jib in rough sea, or cook a meal for your crew mates whilst everything

is just flying around ‘cause of the heeling' (don't even mention sea

sickness). Or you are going crazy just bobbing around in a wind hole for

days and not moving away from the islands.

And then there is another beauty of those crossings. Being in a small boat

with only few other people, using nature to move, staring at the incredible

starry nights or helming under full moon in an open sea... you know what I

am talking about. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve

ever seen (mmmh, maybe not as beautiful as my mountains though). The

endless horizon (even if you only see about 3nm) and cloud formations, the

short chats on the VHF radio with the cargo guys on collision course (yes,

it is a biiiig ocean, but it happens all the time). You get the feeling

there is nothing and nobody around and then suddenly 20 dolphins are

playing on the bow, sailing into the sunset with the full moon rising on

the other side. It’s not only the sailing, it’s a life experience every

time. Learning a lot about sailing, fixing and maintenance (if you sail

with Lyss it is a big part) boat management, cooking/ food (thank you

Sammi), peoples’ behaviour and myself. And if you forgot something or

missing a part, there is no Amazon to deliver the needed parts and

creativity is needed.

It is a challenge every time, you make friends forever and it fills you

with happiness.

Thalita

Crew member on GER6261 Emma

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

Hello,

We are on the way to Grenada. Our headingline is 273 compass course.

We waited a quite long time to get the Passat wind, which we have now

since 4 1/2 days. The day before we werde able to get into the famous Wind

stream we had a day off in zero wind and the absolute high light was a

wale which joined us while we werde swimming for at leas half an Hour.

Everything on Board is working. One of our genackers was crashed in the

morning hours two days ago. As soon as we catch a fish Mathias prepares

shushi. We are happy to have a well working bread baking mashine on board

so the noon snack is always a joy. Our fresh fruits and vegetables are

gone But our freezer is full and our board cook Matthias prepares every

day one phantastic meal.

Please do not clear the wellcome zone, we will definety arrive in Grenda.

:-)

Best regards from Emma 6162

Crew

Alfred

Sven

Matthias

Ingo

Steffen

Ole

Gerald

Stefan

Peter

Crew member on GBR301 Challenger

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

Hello from Spartan Challenger. Well we've done it- we’ve stopped going West and have fallen in step with the rest of the fleet in the long dive South to avoid the upcoming patch of light air and make our entry into the strong belt of Easterlies below 13N that will blow us into Grenada. For the navigators at home you may be interested to know there was a possible routing option for us up and over this windhole- taking us further North and West totally at odds with the overall consensus of the fleet. I thought about it-I really did-but one flyer per race is enough for me (these days) and now the team have settled into their sailing I think a drag race against the other competitors is more appealing to us now than a throw away attempt to circumvent everyone and claim glory. For all my years racing I can count the times that has worked for me on .. well.. one finger.

Meanwhile things have been going very well on board- the crew as I say has come together now as a functioning unit and are able to perform all the necessary sailing evolutions. They can helm as smoothly as I’ve seen and trim and work the sails and I am once again amazed that people coming from four different countries, with skill ranges ranging from absolute novice to circumnavigator and ages ranging from 19 to 73 can work together as a cohesive focused group with only a week's exposure. I guess being 1000 Nm offshore living in a tiny 20ft section of a 60ft boat is the kind of thing that makes one try that little bit harder with creating positive social interaction- besides I tolerate no shouting unless it is a question of safety and that soon calms things down in a sport already awash with testosterone.

A little excitement whilst I was writing this blog- the tack line holding the front lower corner or 'tack' of the spinnaker to the bowsprit blew out with a rig shaking BANG! What ensued was a perfect example of newly found professionalism and restraint. No shouting, swearing, running or waving of arms- the guys just snuffed the kite within one minute and we went forward to inspect the situation. A quick work around was conceived and implemented and within 20 minutes we were back up to full speed.

I really like it when it gets this on board - a calm, courteous, clean, enjoyable environment to work in. Now if only I can persuade this team to come back for the Caribbean 600 and we can start from this point and move forward - wouldn’t that be something?

All's well on Challenger.