Day three was marked with very low winds and sloooow sailing. One 4 hour shift was only able to attain 9.6 nm over ground a mere 2.4 nm per hour average. Much use of the “wind seeker” sail was in order, a lifesaver at times like these. The real difficulty in these conditions is maintaining focus, remembering we are racing and chasing every puff, hour after hour.
The noise below deck is very loud at times like these too. The back and forth banging of the boom as it flogs itself from the mast swaying side to side as we roll in the waves causes loud reverberations through the deck and hull, a noise magnified in the cavity of the comfort area below. The constant walking on the topside and the dragging of tethers across the deck, the sharp “whack” of a Tylaska shakle against the fibreglass or a metal part of the boat, the reverberating “twang” sound from a tensioning shroud, the “thug, thug, thug” of a sheet eased off a winch, or the ratcheting “clack, clack, clack” of a winch winding up pressure. Even the constant talking of the crew as we struggle to find an answer is heard by everyone above and below decks. Sleeping or awake the sounds continue. We soon learn what is important to pay attention to and what isn’t. When sleep is lacking it is amazing what can be tolerated when the body needs rest.
Everyone is eating better today having recovered from the difficulties of yesterdays rolling seas. The food has been amazing, a big “Thank You” to Marie for all the provisioning and planning. Some on-board improvising by Brian saw us eating egg and sausage english muffins with fried mashed potato hash. Almost like McDonalds, but better, wayyyy better! We’re making our way through the fresh fruit and produce trying our best to not let anything go to waste. Unfortunately yesterday’s difficulties resulted in some wasted calories, not intentional mind you, just a result of the conditions and conditioning. No one is hurting today though, our energy is back up, everyone is well rested and eager to tackle the duties of the day.
There has been a new challenge put forth by the “B” team; “Don’s Downwind Demon’s” to the “A” team; “Mort’s Masterly Mariners”, that of sailing more miles than the other team per shift. To date I am not happy to report but it looks like the “B” team as taken an early lead having clocked in just over 2.1 more miles than the “A” team on the first watch set. However, there is a long way to go and many miles and shifts ahead to enable the “A” team to catch up, so look out “B” team, we’re coming for you!
The water is starting to change its colour. It has gone from a dark, cold, uninviting black-blue colour to a deep, rich, sapphire blue that light seems to penetrate deeply. It almost looks like a blue glass. You can see into it deeply and are often caught looking over the side to see if there is anything swimming in its depth. It truly is an amazing experience to have the water change beneath you as you travel along its seemingly endless miles. It’s a much needed boost to the morale after the hard slog of the previous days. It signals to us the progress we are making and that the struggle to meet the challenge is paying off.
Hawaii, here we come: The Hawaiian Islands, Ready To Excite Every Nerve!
Quote of the Day:
Mike to Mort: “Your course is Good”
Mort in response: “I know I’m Good!”