Crew member on GBR8936R Black Sheep

on . Posted in Blogs

Day 9.

We are currently zooming across the central Atlantic. After a 5.30 am peel

to the much repaired A2 due to a drop in the wind overnight, and a swift

gybe, we are back up to speed again. Though we aren't surfing nearly as

much, we are still maintaining a reasonable boat speed.

As we reach the halfway marker (in time at least), the days are flying by.

True trade wind weather, with hot sunshine and steady breeze allowing us to

forge our way westward. The nights, however, have been hard work, especially

last night. Thick cloud cover, and the lack of moon until 3am, robbed us of

all visual clues to steer by. This has left us long hours staring at the

true wind angle on the mast, trying to make it say the right number.

However, as i write this, Xtra Straerk - the XP44 - are within visual range,

overhauling us to windward. Their symmetric kite affording them deeper

running angles to boot. With this in mind we know that this is no time to

take our eyes off the ball, our foot off the accelerator, or our hands off

the kite sheets.

Aside from the racing, spirits on board remain high. The sweepstakes on when

we will arrive is taped up in a nav, alongside Paul's Christmas card from

his Mum and Dad. We are having so much fun, that the local wildlife is just

dying to join us. Every night we are peppered with suicidal flying fish (and

one squid) which jump aboard. If they don't kill themselves on impact, they

proceed to flap around the deck depositing scales and 'eau d'fish'. We even

found one in the nav upon a morning, after it deflected down the hatch off a

halyard winch. This popularity would be fine, apart from the smell they

bring with them. This reached and all time high yesterday evening,

triggering an all out fish hunt. The culprit turned out to be a 2 day old

specimen, which had wedged itself under the main sheet traveller.

Flying fish, if you are reading this, you are probably better off not

joining us onboard.

Black Sheep Out.

--