Race Updates

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Shame wind has died to slow our final approach but what a great sail Elin and I have had so far we have seen wind from 0 to 38 knots lost count of the number of spinnaker peels and gybes we have done. What we would do for a spinnaker pole mind.

Almost everything has gone to plan and Elin and I are still talking (just). I have lost count of the number of times I have woken thinking we have sailed into a fog bank with a symphony of fog horns only to realise it is Elin Singing along to her itunes.

Oh Bo!!@cks as I type big bang as second spinnaker halyard block has Brocken.... kite down rapid re pack before hoisting on Jib halyard will have to go up later to run a second halyard.

I have to congratulate Elin on bringing the dog food meatballs which have made the freeze dried food seem simply divine.

Dwi yn hoffi hoylio efo Elin...

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Well our adventure continues as we search for favourable winds that will take us to Grenada. We’re struggling to make the progress that we would like, which is frustrating. But I remind myself that compared to the 77 days 7 hours 37 minutes it took me to row across the Atlantic our current pace is super speedy. I came in last in that race too, and as I keep telling Chris, someone always has to come last.

To pass away the time yesterday we played ‘hangman’. After much initial confusion about the exact rules of the game and whether we were playing in English or Welsh we had quiet a giggle for about 5 minutes before deciding that it probably wasn’t the game for us after all.

To celebrate reaching the 500 mile mark we opened a chilled bottle of Spanish sparkling water. Lush it was too. And of course no major celebration would be complete without a bag of Haribo sweets. Yesterday we had the Frenzy Edition! Living on the edge that we are.

Send us all your speedy vibes, and I’ll get Chris to write tomorrow’s blog.

Elin & Chris

P.S FOR SALE six tins of Spanish meatballs – still in original packaging - open to offers.

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

We hear that all the other boats are now in! A huge congrats to all, I hope that you enjoy much deserved land celebrations – but please do save some rum for us!

Even accounting for boat size/ design/ crew size it’s fair to say that both of us are a little bit disappointed that we are last by sooo many miles. Having said that our objective for this race was always about just getting across, and getting the experience for future campaigns – which has been just perfect. We now expect to be in by the 17th and our prize will be getting in in time to party at prize giving night as Louay has promised that he’ll buy all the drinks!

Our other objective was to raise much needed awareness about our nominated charity, Findacure www.findacure.org.uk As mentioned before Findacure work to support patients with rare diseases, and to facilitate drug re-purposing as a way of discovering cures in an affordable way. There are nearly 7000 rare diseases, but currently there are only 103 drugs authorised to treat them in Europe, and only 37% of which are being reimbursed by all health care agencies. The approach used by Findacure therefore is instrumental to finding affordable treatments. This is my last plug for anyone that could possibly afford to sponsor to do so at (SORRY LOUAY / TISH PLEASE INSERT LINK IN FOR ME ONE MORE TIME).

Much thanks, truly appreciated

Elin & Chris

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Sorry for no blog update yesterday, we were kidnapped by aliens and had to enter difficult negotiations for our release.

At the same time our comms stopped working, and took some time to re-set – thanks Roger.

D13 at sea was a challenging one for us with nothing quiet going right. As night came we got the twist in our A2, and dropped her for an A4. I think I’ve said before but helming in this pitch black where you can really see nothing is a nightmare. Soon after a squall came and we had to go for a quick drop. Sadly our drop line had dropped under the pole so wouldn’t work. We had to revert to using the lazy sheet to get her down, which was a mammoth effort. After that we decided to revert to just a conservative sail plan of just black sails over night. Not ideal, but allowed us both to get some good sleep in.

There’s so much seaweed in the ocean now that we must be getting close to land. Seen quiet a few other yachts, and had a chat with a couple.

Been pondering a lot on whether flying fish breath in and/or our of the water? Anyone know?

Other than that, all is going well. We’re both really struggling to cope with the heat – me in particular. Celtic blood was not designed for such climates, that’s for sure.

Off to do some needle work repair, which I’m sure will make my mother proud

Elin

Crew member on GBR132 Silvi Belle 2

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Morning all

Well hopefully we have completed our last night at sea. We have been making good progress at veraging over 11 knots during the night. We had to put in a couple of gybes to pass to the north of Barbados and at first light we could see the island off the prot side. We currently have about 120 nm to run and are expecting to be in arround 0-2pm UTC. As we go over the line we change to local time on the boat and should be on the dock by 10pm local, in time foa a cold beer and a rum punch or two

Crew relaxing but we are pushing the boat quite hard so everyone needs to keep concentrating to the line

see you the other side

mike

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Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Well it’s been a funny old time here. Wind is just ever so slightly too high for us to be able to fly our kites safely (especially in pitch black nights). We’re therefore going dead down wind just on black sails, and seem to be ticking off the miles okay. Less than a 1000 miles to go ...

We’re down to sharing one cup of coffee between us at morning and night.

In other random news, last night while on watch, I was admiring the stars when an UFO certainly appeared, and started circling around us. It stayed with us for ages, with bright colours of red, green and white. Petrified I was about to call on Chris (thinking he might have to rescue me from being abducted by aliens), the UFO promptly disappeared again, and the only thing left in the night’s sky was the boat’s windex and tricolour ...

Yes. I think that cabin fever might be setting in!

Elin (& a very worried Chris!)

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Yesterday was an amazing day surfing under the A4. I won fastest surf, getting an 11.6 surf in while Chris only got an 11kts surf in! Yeah! #SmallThings

Chris’s Welsh lessons haven’t progressed much last few days as we probably realised that it was more important to concentrate on my sailing lessons. Having said that he’s very good at saying “Dwi yn hoffi coffi.” Talking of which, we’re getting close to having a critical shortage of coffee on board, which really could be a major disaster as both Chris and I are very grumpy without a constant supply of caffeine.

We’re eating down the miles and getting very ready for Grenada, some rum, fun and beer (as promised by Louay). To be fair my hair has been ready for the Caribbean fun for days with afro dreadlocks well and truly in place.

Chris is shouting for his lunch so I best go muster something

Ciao for now

Elin & Chris

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Hmmm...

I have been inundated with ideas on how to improve my hearing from olive oil to offers of grand parents hearing aids. However I have chosen to ignore these suggestions so I can continue to enjoy a level of peace and quiet on this trip.

As Elin has spent 155 days of her life aboard rowing boats living on nothing other than freeze dried food I had expected the level of catering to improve once we moved onto our freeze dried rations however I was sorely disappointed as I was presented with Chicken Korma soup last evening. Not the standard of curry night I am used to.

Highlight of the day was devising a new preventer system I was very excited but surprised by Elin’s comment “you mad duck”. Apparently a preventer system is not something normal people get excited by ...

Being pushed along today by strong NE breeze getting very bored of TWD of 80 degrees mind and starting to wish we had a yacht that would go down the 180 freeway.

We sailed past a French yacht yesterday who chatted on VHF for a while and said how Grande Nunatak looked. Have to say she feels a little Petite compared to the other competitors in this race. Has everyone else finished yet?

I really can’t get bored of the flying fish displays we see regularly. Although a couple of them have had the misfortune of landing on deck. Elin’s not been so great at getting them back to sea in time to save them.

Off to do some sailing

Chris (& Elin)

Crew member on GBR9604R Nunatak

on . Posted in 2015 Blogs

Well it’s all happening here on Nunatak as we finally crossed the half way mark! HOORAY! But boy it was a long time coming.

Yesterday morning was particularly hectic as we had two squalls hit us in quick successions. Not sure if I’ve already mentioned but we don’t use snuffers, and drop our kites via the letter box. Which obviously means completely repacking each one each time. On a good drop I can manage to get the kite down the companion way all by myself. On a bad one Chris has to jump from behind the helm (in Ninja style!) to help me out. The second squall resulted in a particularly bad drop which required a major effort by us all...! Thankfully with no damage to kite or boat, but my porridge did fly across the deck and land in my already very smelly deck shoes. Yuck!

In other news the nights are now becoming a little bit lighter, and we’re able to see an amazing galaxy of stars. Including a lot of shooting stars. I saw one spectacular one last night, and made an extra special wish – that Chris would let me eat all the half way celebratory jelly beans to myself! Not all shooting stars make your wishes come true it seems.

My cooking skills have also reached new heights. For lunch today we had a tablespoon of Nutella and a handful of salted cashew nuts. I was able to persuade Chris that it was the right combination of protein, carbohydrates, sugar and salt to count as a nutritious meal for all top performing sailors...!

Wind is all over the place, in terms of direction, but grib files promises that it should be better soon. Keeping everything crossed for a faster second half.

Elin & Chris

P.S any Guardian readers out there – keep an eye out for Wednesday’s edition, where my digital health start up aparito is featured as one of the Nominet Trust top 100 tech social enterprises. Thrilled to hear the news, if a bit disappointed to be missing out on the party!