Crew member on GBR958R Jangada

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

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

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

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

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

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

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

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

on . Posted in 2017 Blogs

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