by Matthew Thomas
Due to communication issues on board we have not been receiving as much info from Phillippa as hoped. This was due to coms problems which now appear to be resolved – so here’s a quick catch-up of news received just a few minutes ago.
With a moonbow (rainbow by night) on the beam, rain squalls all around we wallow in the swells. There was very little wind to gain any momentum so the boat bashes from side to side, the mainsail bangs and the Solent sail smashes against the radar dome. ‘Concise 2′ is stuck in a hole!
We sat there all night last night. The moon rose above the swells lightening up our sails and trying to make it easier for us to trim our flogging sails. Our patience was tested as we struggled to make way.
I decided it was a good time to induce mum’s fruit cake to Pip. I made tea and we had a slice of mums home made individually portioned fruit cake. Our moods were lifted as we enjoyed the treat. We sailed along at an average of about 3 to 4 knots. Going over the swells and then being sucked into them. It was not easy to make way.
As the sun rose we got a bit more wind and tried several sail combinations and nothing seemed to work. At one stage we sailed a full 360 degrees with our big kite up! The wind has been so light and shifty.
We lost our windex in one of the low pressures and our log is not working 100% so it has made for some interesting debates about what the wind is really doing. We have a bit of breeze now and are making way under gennicker and full mainsail. But today has been good in that we have had a chance to dry the boat out and get her organized again. The best thing that happened today was that I took my boots off for the first time in a week. I am dry again now. My Musto mid-layers have kept me warm last week while my feet where absolutely sopping wet! I am glad to have made the change to some dry socks and shoes.
Last night we started the night with a big black squall. We had over 30 knots with the A2 (our biggest spinnaker) up. I was on the helm as ‘Concise 2′ flew along making great speeds with white water everywhere. Pip stood closely by as we were not too sure how long it would last. The icey cold rain came down very hard making it very difficult to see the kite or the instruments. Fortunately we came out of it with no damage, but this was the last time we had good breeze to make way.
Its been a week since we started the TJV. 3 low pressure systems have tested the boat and us. Pip and I have been pushed hard and we have had to dig deep to keep moving, but the boat is looking after us and we are looking after her. With 4000nm to go to the finish in Brazil this race is far from over.
Right now we are sailing the weekend to a close with full main and gennicker up. There are lots of rain squalls around and we are not sure what tonight will bring. We have to apologise for our lack of communication. We have has some connection problems. We are working on the situation and we hope that now we can now keep sending more stories.