Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

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Title: The final run to the finish

Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JPK 1010 Jangada in the 2017 RORC

Transatlantic Race

Postion 12.03N 56.55W

Boat speed 8-12.5 knots

Wind ENE 15-22 knots

Air temperature 31.4C

Weather Sunny with 20% clould cover

We now have well under 300 miles to the finish and are holding a lead of

a couple of days both in our class and for the two-handed prize. The

past 48 hours have seen a mix of a fast downwind blast under S4

spinnaker - the wave shape has become much more conducive for surfing

and we've regularly had sustained speeds above 10 knots. However,

disappointingly the boat speed plot in the Expedition navigation

software reveals that the 12.5 knot peaks contribute next to nothing to

Jandaga's average speed.

The wind has been tending to ease in the afternoons, and come slightly

aft, making for good progress under the S4. Overnight it increases and

comes slightly further ahead, which makes for spirited progress and lots

of fun. However, we're also conscious that more incidents happen in the

early hours of the morning than at any other time, so we've dropped the

kite at some point between dinner time and midnight. We may have a

substantial lead on the water right now, but to get Jangada's name on

the trophies we still have to finish the race.

Wednesday night we reverted to sailing slightly low of the course under

a poled out No4 jib; last night we were sailing a little high under Jib

Top and Genoa Staysail. Tonight looks promising for the A5 small

asymmetric spinnaker - if so, we will have used every sail on the boat,

with the exception of the storm sails and delivery mainsail.

Despite the race having taken significantly longer than expected, our

provisions have lasted well. We will finish with a couple of day's

supply of water left, we've only just consumed the last of the fresh

veg, there's still cheese, ham, chorizo, gazpacho, plus a couple of

breakfasts, along with plenty of snacks and evening meals.

Nevertheless, we're still both looking forward to the finish in Grenada,

which should be around midnight local time on Saturday December 16...

Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

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Dec 13th 2017

Swiss night - Raclette time

As we had a swiss day yesterday the blog will also be written in swiss

dialect from the Valais. Sorry guys.

Geschter isch en hundskumume Segeltag ufum Atlantik xi. Zum Zmorge es feins

Birchermuesli schwizerart mit epis weniges frische Fricht, also in dischem

Fall trochuni Dattle und Wiberini. De gmietli in e Tag schtarte miteme

tschinger Kaffee und jedi het ebiz ire Zig erledigt, Biecher laesse,

Soitaire spiele, Chibelduschi, Waetter embricha lade etc. Fer emal isch nix

kaputt gange oder suscht zum flicke xi, ohh Wunder. Ds Meer het schich

stattli beruehigt im Verloeif vom Tag und wier, d Niflora und ich, hei

beschlosse hite isch e guete Tag der es feins Walliser Raclette. Yep, aes

Raclette mitsch ufum Putz, hueerra guet! (heisst im Fall nit guet, ich cha

mit dem yankee Computer kei Umlaut mache und d Autokorrektur tritt mi fasst

ine Wahnsinn). Wilwer nu gad di Zit umgstellt hei (alle 15 Degrees isch en

noeji Timezone) het das gat guet gipasst mit dum Schichtwaexel. Das ja ufum

Meer meischtens flott windet isch nu schwierig xi es Platzji ds xfine fer

ds Rechaud Grill Oefeli. Hei de iner Galley (Bordchuchi) im Waeschbecki dri

ds Raclette gebrutzlet. Mmmmmh isch das fein xi säg ich ew! Aes Raclette

mitsch ufum Atlantik - einmalig!

Und de isch ja scho wieder Nacht xi (ha sowieso ds Gfuehl aesch immer eswie

Nachtschicht hie, smile) und ischi Schichte ds zweit fer zwei Stunde sind

wieder los gange. Isch nu ximli happig 2 h segle, no problem, aber de numu

2 h Schlafenszit, inklusive ins Bett ga, WC, uefstah und alege natirli. Da

bisch froh wens wieder hell wird und die dri Stuender afaent und ds fein

Birchermuesli schon wieder ufum Menüplan steiht, smile.


Ok friends and followers a short summary in english. Yesterday we had a

beautiful normal day on the sea starting with a delicious Birchermuesli and

‘fresh’ fruits, dried dates and raisins. After a proper italian coffee

everybody did their thing, reading a book, playing Solitaire, bucket

showering or downloading the weather report. Nothing broken, nothing to

fix. Niflora and I decided today would be a good day to have a Swiss

Raclette as the weather calmed down and we also changed the time (every 15

degrees is a new timezone). Since we are on a sailing boat and we

definitely have wind now it was quite tricky to find a place to make

Raclette with a tea lights oven. The sink in the Galley was the best place

for it. Mmmmmmh it was just delicious and sooo unique - a Swiss Raclette in

the middle of the Atlantic - awesome!

And there we go, it is night again (I have the feeling somehow it s always

nightshift time). Its a bit intense to sail 2h and then only have 2h off -

including going to bed, toilet, get up and get dressed again. It makes you

happy to see the daylight again and go back to the 3h shift. Voila there is

the Birchermuesli again, smile.


Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

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Dec 10th 2017

Happy Happy Birthday Sammi

Big day today - we have a birthday child onboard. While Sammy went back to

have a little sleep after the early watch we started to decorate the boat a

little bit for her birthday. Lyss baked a tasty chocolate wave cake (as I

am not allowed to bake anything anymore on a boat after one almost on fire

and one cake actually on fire on the last crossings) and Nicole drew up a

creative birthday card. As we are kind of a gourmet crew, with Francesca

as our titled Master Chef, I set to prepare a beautiful lunch. Salmon (we

did not catch that here in the middle of the Atlantic) with boat-grown

sprouted rocket and Philadelphia lemon crostini, accompanied by a healthy

Feta Tomatoes and basilicum salad, also grown on the boat by Master

Gardener Sammi.

Sammi, who has been suffering from sea sickness the whole trip, for once

has great day, feels good, and eats her birthday meal and cake! (Sarah-

she did not open her present until today, it looks great on her!) Beautiful

weather, finally good wind, nice food, and some great stars. Happy birthday

may all your wishes come true.


Dec 11th 2017

What to wear while sailing

When you are about to cross the Atlantic, you know you need foul weather

gear, a red light head torch, a sleeping bag, your tool, boots/sailing

shoes, a lifejacket etc… but you would be surprised how many experienced

sailors ask “what should I bring to wear?”

So you put together the joining instructions and send them off to the crew

before the trip, and there! first thing they ask, again, even if it is

detailed down to the very last pair of underwear. If you are wondering,

this is not just women. Any delivery trip, same thing.

Finally, really, how long does it take to get some wind, we have some great

breeze. Since yesterday we have a constant 20-25kts of wind and a steady 3m

swell from more or less astern and once in awhile a bigger one, making for

some interesting speed competitions (by the way it does not count if you go

11.8kn, even with a reef in, if you are off course!)

Great sailing, constant sunshine, so it is definitely getting warmer every

day. Everybody is happy about the weather.

This said, we have had several wardrobe transmutations the first two weeks-

Week 1, while we were sailing upwind with 27-30 kn of wind:

Daytime: long warm merino layer top and bottom, usually light pants on top,

supersocks, vest and the jacket if it is cloudy

Nighttime: long warm merino layer below, supersocks, vest/sweater, foul

weather gear/ the jacket - and a hat

Week 1, while we were becalmed - don’t ask, no wind, as in 0.00kn:

Daytime: pants/ 3/4 length layer, running t-shirts, slowly undressing as

the day warmed up more

Bikinis for swimming while becalmed… and then quickly clothes on


Nighttime: long merino warm layer below, supersocks, the jacket

Week 2: finally getting some wind -woo hoo sometimes it is 10kn!, but

getting warmer

Daytime: shorts, t-shirts.. and bikinis!

Nighttime: 3/4 length layer, long sleeves and the jacket

(underwear… to each their own, you should see our bucket laundry, full

selection available!)


Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

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Title: The wrong kind of waves!

Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JPK1010 Jangada

Position 11.27N, 47.45W

Boat speed 7-10 knots

Wind ENE 18-22 knots

Air temperature 29.7C

Sea temperature 32.1C

Weather 9/10 clear skies with bright sun

Instead of the 3,000 miles of glorious downwind surfing we were

promised, we started with calms, then days of headwinds, squalls and

more light airs. As a result, we've had to go well south compared to

traditional routes to get into solid tradewind conditions.

Even then, we're not getting the sustained easy surfing you might expect

thanks to a confused sea and wind-driven waves that have such a long

wavelength that most refuse to crest. A couple of days ago we gave up on

running with the S2 and S4 spinnakers, as the sea state meant we had to

sail more than 35 degrees off the flat water downwind polars just to

keep wind in the sail.

Instead we have a poled out jib and mainsail - an easy old-school

arrangement that allows us to point dead downwind at Grenada. An initial

screening of progress after dropping the kite showed a 4 per cent

decrease in boat speed, accompanied by a 5 per cent drop in distance

sailed - in otherwords a small net gain. Importantly, for a race of such

marathon proportions it has also significantly reduced wear and tear on

the boat, fittings and sails.

The other frustration is huge amounts of weed that wraps around both

rudders and the keel. In day light it's possible to steer around the

biggest clumps, but at night impossible. An advantage of running without

a spinnaker is that the frequent luffs head to wind to allow the boat to

back up and clear the foils are much easier if you don't have to drop

the kite first, especially as we are double-handed.

A wind shift this evening will see us gybing onto starboard for the

final run into the finish. Hopefully the new wind will break up the

patches of weed... and the forecast wind angles look promising for a

fast blast with the A5 spinnaker.

Routine on board continues as before, although less time is needed to

analyse weather and routing options as we close on the finish. There are

also minor changes to diet as the last of the fresh vegetables are

almost gone.

The routing software suggests we will finish sometime between Saturday

evening and theh following morning local time. We're pushing for the

former on the premise that Grenadan rum will taste better on a Saturday

night than a Sunday morning.

Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

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This from a couple of days ago...


Weed to left of us. Weed to the right of us.  Streaks of weed.  Lilly pad plates of weed 10 feet in diameter.  Weed around the rudders - both of them, which need clearing every 20 minutes!  Weed around the keel - spinnaker down and reverse the boat to clear.  Weed at night that you can't see.  I'm fed up with weed!

Even the weed stick is feeling the pressure.  Fine in UK waters, but not a match for this tropical weed. Now clearly under-engineered, the weed stick has had several modifications.  A corner bracket cut out from a chopping board to support the bend. The main shaft lashed to a broom handle.  And rope to cover the hook so we don't scratch the rudders too much.  Fortunately, now that we are into more choppy seas with winds building to 20kts, the weed seems to be more disperse and we are not having to clear rudders so often. Just as well, as we don't carry a spare weed stick.

Looking forward to a downwind run for the final 1,200nm to Grenada.....

Richard & Rupert

JPK1010 Jangada

Crew member on GER7475 Lunatix

on . Posted in Blogs

Regards from Lunatix!

The days are passing by and we actually dont really know when we last posted anything to this blog so we will have a quick summary of our past days: They have been a variation of all sorts of weather, from as little as 4kn of TWS up to 30Kn everything hit us in a well served mixture. For the remaining days on the water we would like to point out that we prefer 20 to 25kn of TWS and would be delighted if we get this weather very soon, to surf towards the finish line. More than 25kn is not necessary and we we figured out that even on a brand new boat you get pieces to break apart if you push to hard. In our case the Tylaska at the end of the guy went out of service when a big gust hit us. As usual something like this happens during the dead of night and set us back quiet a bit until we where ready to set the kite again and continue under full speed.

We are in the beginning of the third week and according to our plan we should already enjoy Rum and the beautiful island of Grenada but as the fleet can tell, the weather conditions showed to be so beautiful, we just wanted to enjoy some extra days on the Atlantic!

We liked to admit we also accepted outside assistant last night by an eighth crew member: "Larry" as we named him, is a 40 cm big seabird (don´t ask us about the types of seabirds) which circumsailed Lunatix a dozen times yesterday evening before finding the courage to land on our deck (to windward- good job Larry). He proofed to be a fast-learner and even kept a cool head during two night-time gybes including all hands on deck and the neccesary moves and commands during the pitch black night, Larry just wouldn´t leave the scene. Unfortunately he doesn´t seem to be a great team player, leaving the scenery at early morning before breakfast and leaving a huge portion of sh*** on the starboard deck- not cool Larry!

Now we are back on track with our original 7 headed crew and enjoy the last hours of that race. Though the experiences being remarkebly, we still sail under the mindset of race sailors, which means that the last days and hours of the race- as beautiful as they might be- need to be minimized! Need another argument to get to Grenada as fast as possible? Well think about steak and rum !

All safe and sound but thirsty!


Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

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December 8th, 2017

The Garden

If Matt Damon can grow potatoes on Mars then growing green vegetables in

the middle of the Atlantic Ocean would be easy, right?

The answer is actually yes, with very little effort a small amount of

preparation, the right seeds, and a small amount of space in indirect light

a surprising number of nutritious micro greens can be ready for eating in

3-4 days.

Having already experimented with sprouting seeds on a previous race with

mixed results plan B was formed.

Small packets of organic micro greens which include rocket, alfalfa, mung

beans, fenugreek and basil have been placed in shallow trays on top of damp

kitchen paper (needs to be unbleached) and then placed on a sill in

indirect sunlight. Each morning they are given a little water, turned

every other day and then cut ready for eating in wraps or salads and that

is really as hard as it gets.

The most important thing is to eat them as they are cut, they don’t last

unless you have the luxury of a fridge on board.

Sprouting organic chickpeas and lentils after a day of soaking in water

make really good snack finger foods.

I have done a few races now on a few different boats, without reservation I

can confirm without a shadow of a doubt that meals on Hatha Maris in

comparison would have been awarded a Michelin Star.

If you didn’t know by now, Italians love and honour the food they eat, from

breakfast right through to pre-dinner aperitivo, yes you heard me right,

for example thinly sliced carpaccio and zucchini soaked in lemon juice with

a side of anchovies and pomegranate, If you don’t believe me, then go to

the Second Star Facebook site in a few weeks time and see some of our

amazing meals.

In Lanzarote, I met up with a fellow provisioner, their trolley 300

oranges, 100 5 lt bottles of water and 2 trollies of noodles to rehydrate….

by comparison our provisioning was so yummy that another boat took the

delivery and we had to fight to get our food back!!!!



This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Global Marine Networks,

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Please be kind and keep your replies short.

Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

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RORC Transatlantic Race - Rupert Holmes and Richard Palmer on JKP1010


Tradewinds - normal service to be resumed

Position 14.33N 36.47W

Wind 040-060 degrees true, 10-16 knots

Air temperature 29.7 Celcius

Water temperature 22.6 Celcius

Weather 70 per cent thin cloud

Our spell in stereotypical tradewind conditions a few days ago didn't

last long - barely a couple of days before the skies clouded over and a

succession of squalls brought gusts into the upper 20s.

After some spirited surfing that saw Jangada hitting 14 knots, the sea

state became such that it was no longer feasible two-handed to continue

with a spinnaker set - when well offshore it's usually sea state, not

simply wind speed, that dictates when to drop.

We then spent 24 hours running with a poled out No4 jib, or reaching

with the jib and one reef in the mainsail, still hitting boatspeeds well

above 10 knots and making good progress towards Grenada. However, the

next obstacle was an area of high pressure, right where you'd normally

expect the north-easterly tradewinds to be well established.

We negotiated the worst of it last night, when the wind speed dropped to

less than four knots. Unfortunately, the larger boats in Classes 0 and 1

got past that point well before the high became established, so we've

lost out compared to them. Nevertheless, we have a few in our sights

that we can realistically overhaul on corrected time between now and the

finish, and we're still leading both our own class and the two-handed

division by a comfortable margin.

In terms of distance we're only half-way through this 3,000 mile race

after 13 days at sea. That's certainly frustrating, but the second half

should be much faster - we're now below 15 degrees north Latitude and

the winds are forecast to build between here and the finish, which gives

a prospect of consecutive 200 plus mile days and finishing within 9 more

days. The 100ft supermaxi CQS took line honours on Wednesday, but given

her IRC rating is almost 1.9 times greater than that of Jangada, we have

until the early hours of December 16 to beat her on corrected time.

However, there's one more potential obstacle to negotiate before we can

think of the finish - today the CAPE index (a measure of the energy in

the atmosphere that can create thunderstorms and squalls) is quite high.

Apart from that the routine on board continues. We still have some fresh

fruit and vegetables left, but stocks of both are rapidly dwindling,

although there are plenty of treats to eat, including excellent Iberian

ham and chorizo, tasty Spanish olives and more.

Although the winter nights are long here, hiding from the relentless

tropical sun is still important during the day. Depending on which gybe

we're on the afternoons are not so bad if the sun is behind the black

3Di mainsail, although the white spinnakers and the Code 0 doubtless

have a much lower Sun Protection Factor.

Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

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Dec 6th (again!) 2017

News from Deck -2 yes, you read right, Deck Negative2

You know those days when you take a great bucket shower, you put a clean

bikini on, and think to yourself: now I am going to go back outside, and -

yes! read my book, just a chapter, then we can fly the big genny if the

angle is right.. Maybe I should put some sunscreen back on, since I

washed it all off. Oh ok, since I am still down here I should first check

in with Brian, the bilge, and then put the sunscreen on, so I don’t get it

all over the interior of the boat. And while I am at it, introduce Thalita

to him, she hasn’t met Brian yet.

So I call Thalita and open up to say hello to Brian, and find that we have

A LOT of water in there. A LOT, sloshing around. I had just checked it

less than two hours ago, and there was nothing. Immediately I do the most

important test and stick my finger in and taste it, to see if it is salty

or sweet water:

a) yuck.

b) it is salty.

c) shit.

First thoughts running though my mind: Where is it coming from? What part

of the hull is damaged? Is a seacock is leaking? Did we hit anything and I

did not hear it? Does anything sound different? WHERE is it coming from?

Dang, what if it is the keel bolts?

We tear up all the floorboards and we have water in all the bilges on the

starboard side. I check around the keel bolts and they seem ok, but won’t

be really able to tell until we get the water down some. And it keeps

coming in, slowly seeping in from the communication holes between the hull

and the bilges. It is a light grey/cream color, cloudy.

Paranoid skipper brain already goes though the sinking/evacuation scenario

and I immediately send a satellite message to the office, alerting them

that we might have a problem and our position.

Then start checking each and every seacock. Thalita checks the port side

ones, I go for the starboard side. Nothing seems amiss. Engine seacock is

dry. But the engine bilge is wet? What?? We mop up 10 litres of water,

and I am able to check the keel bolts. They are OK. Then we each crawl

into the back of the boat, all the way to the stern near the steering shaft

(there is water mostly towards the rear of the boat not forward..) so that

we can methodically check as much of the hull as possible. Port side,


When I crawl into the stern on the starboard side I see water both on the

bottom and splashed on the walls of the space. This is where where our

engine exhaust is located, as well as the cockpit seacock drain. New

evacuation scenarios run through my mind and I wonder if I should mention

something to the rest of the crew, who are up on deck helming, reading and

hanging out… ok just a few more minutes and I’ll do that. I dry around the

engine exhaust and its seacock and have Thalita run the engine, to see if

that is the cause. No. Phew, I don’t have a replacement piece for the

exhaust line anyway, and we might need the engine to keep water out or get

us somewhere.. What am I thinking? Where would we go? We are so far from

anything right now and have not seen a single boat in two days. Not even

on AIS.

I test the drain. No, it looks gross but its not leaking. Then I look up,

instead of below or around the waterline of the boat. That’s when I notice

that the outside shower handle is hanging, somewhat caught up in one of the

hoses that crisscross the space. Huh? I realise that the cup that holds

it outside has been cracked and pushed into the space. I test the water on

the walls - just icky this time, it is clear - and it is salty, but not as

salty as it is in the bilges. It dawns upon us that it might be the

culprit. I ask Thalita to shut down the water pump, although I don’t see

much evidence of active leaking, and to check our water tank level. The

tank is now empty. Great. So maybe we have a source of the problem.

Great. Well, that was intended to be sarcastic, but at the same time, we

might now also have a different type of problem. I then grab the plumbing

diagram and see if I can shut down only the outside faucet somewhere, but

it is not an option.

Thalita and I start really emptying out the bilges of water to see if it

keeps rising, and slowly we make progress. The electric bilge pump is

making a funny noise.. and I become uneasy using it as the cloudy stuff in

the water turns out to be fibreglass dust, and it becomes cakey mud, at the

bottom of the pit, potentially clogging up the impeller if it gets sucked

in. I just changed it in Gibraltar, and now I do not have a spare of that

one on board -either.

I finally feel comfortable enough to send a message to the office that I

think I found the problem.

Music is turned on, nice and loud. Thalita and I smile at each other,

making faces as our hands start stinging more and more from the fibreglass

dust in the water. So we manually remove the water, container by

container, with sponges and - since the backup manual hand pump won’t fit

in the small crevices, and we are creative, 10ml at a time with the used

syringes I gathered up after the Medical Care at Sea course we just took in

the UK and threw into the toolbox (Sue: thank you… probably the first time

your antibiotics injection practice leftovers are used in this way.)

Finally after two hours, the water has stopped rising and just comes into

the bilges from the interstitial spaces when we have a sudden movement, but

it is minor. Enough that we are now monitoring it, and simply trying to

get as much out as possible at every watch change.

We did lose at least 1/4 of our freshwater Tank1 to this. So forget

seawater bucket shower rinse-offs even for 10seconds. And I have to fix

the handle and the faucet outside. And maybe replace the junctureT valve

with one with a shutoff lever. I think I might have one of those of the

right size… so voila’ added it to my “oh look, I have a spare moment, what

should I do?” list.

The rest of the crew, you ask? Apparently had no clue. They thought it

was normal to spend close to 3 1/2 hours “playing” in the bilges. Thalita,

thank you for all your help, especially for laughing and keeping me sane

while it was happening. I promise I will not suggest you have a second

date with Brian. EVER.

On the positive side, we now have very very very clean bilges. All the

food that was stored in some of them has been removed, dried, reorganised.

We now know that we have a vast quantity of mais cans. Looks like our

menus will be focusing on this fabulous ingredient in the foreseeable


That’s all from the Deck Neg2 problem resolution desk. It is time to put

some sunscreen on and to go outside and sail, so please come back with any

issues after 4pm.


Crew member on ITA15111 Hatha Maris

on . Posted in Blogs

Dec 6th 2017

Santa Claus day, or how we call it in Switzerland - Samichlaus

Nicole and I had what I call the ‘sleep in’ watch (from 3 to 6am and

then off till 10am). Breakfast, helming, have a chat with the other crew

mates, clean up the cabin, getting excited to hoist the gennaker later


Today is shower and laundry day - really necessary again. Back on the

stern on Deck 2, the Wellness Deck, a queue builds up for the shower.

Lyss is hanging outside the lifeline and throwing buckets of refreshing

25 degree sea water over herself, Nicole takes her time and enjoys a

Hammam in the very private shower area whilst singing, Sammi is happy to

be able to finally wash her hair again and rinse it with fresh water and

Francesca is getting a whole spa treatment with pedicure including nail

polish, body scrub and face mask (she was so happy) whilst I just have a

quick shower as always and wash my hair by putting my head into the

bucket. Today is a good day, everybody is happy and now also smells


Lyss wanted to introduce me to Brian (the bilge). So we opened up the

bilge and o-ohhh - full of water! This was not much fun. Quickly we

opened up the whole boat and …. you will know tomorrow how it ends.. So

we decided no more introductions for the day and to leave the meeting as

a one day stand, :-).

Early in evening I could also hear Santa Claus. Yes, he came all the way

from the Swiss forest to bring us our little ‘Samichlaus Sackjini’. For

all the non-Swiss, Santa Claus in Switzerland does not show up on

Christmas. He has his own day on December 6th. Everybody got a little

Samichlaus bag full of treats and I was as happy as little kids are.

Never cook pasta for Italians I have been told! But I wanted to learn

how to cook it properly and decided - tonight is Carbonara night.

Francesca gave me all the right advice and, at the end, on the tricky

part, a hand. At this point I should mention that it is not easy to cook

even when the boat is not heeling very much. We lost about ten eggs this

night. First the bowl with the eggs and parmesan ready for the pasta

flew into the sink, so we got some more out of the cupboard, (shh...a

few broken ones in there too!). Second time, just before putting the

eggs into the pasta the boat heeled suddenly, — swear words in swiss

dialect wich I can not write down — and the whole bowl flew over my hand

and leg and onto the floor. Oh well, will do better next time!

And then it was already night again and we were back on the short


good night


Crew member on GER59 Red

on . Posted in 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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