(Day 11-14) Sorry for being silent for few days. It’s been busy here. Mostly because of the weather, but also because of some repairs along the way. First we decided to make a bold dash to the North to cross over warm front to avoid the forecasted calm in that area. That has worked out, but a bit too well because we hit the South side of a low coming from the West and got some 30-40 knots over about a day and a half.
We did position so that we were running with the gale, so it wasn’t dangerous or even very uncomfortable. It did however produce some crazy speeds, turns, and some jumping up and down on the waves. For the first time during the trip few things actually fell to the floor in the kitchen. One of them was unfortunately a bottle of cooking oil that created quite a disaster at the entrance from the cockpit. It took some effort to neutralize it so that it would not be carried under the feet all over the deck, which is slippery to begin with and with the oil on it it would be borderline
Other than that both crew and the boat took the being really well. We made first baguettes and bread during the gale, played some games, and watched some movies. Most importantly though we very much enjoyed the landscape of the surrounding 4-5 meter waves glistening in the sun and the flying foam swept of the breaking crests by the howling winds. It was beautiful, a bit scary, and a bit surreal to watch the raw power of the ocean. Our position only amplified the psychological effect. We are in the most remote are of the North Atlantic short of being in the Arctic. We were equidistant from New Foundland and Azores yesterday at about 600 nautical miles a piece. Today we feel decidedly on the European side with over 700 and over 400 respectively. It’s psychologically important to us as we feel like we are in European or the destination waters. It will feel decidedly downhill tomorrow when we hopefully reach the 2500 miles, which marks half of the approximately 5000 mile
It also puts us within few days of the area where normal helicopter search and rescue can be affected. Right now we are super conservative wth our decisions, choices, crew and the boat as we realize that here we are truly on our own. Should anything serious happen here the effects are compounded by the lack of any immediate assistance. This does not mean we gonna become clueless and nonchalant upon sighting of the French or English shores, but the proximity of the land does create the extra psychological comfort and lets me sleep a bit better.
Today was the Poly Needs Love After the Storm Day. We dried everything. Check and fixed some leaks that we discovered after the big waves pounded at us for more than a day. The crew was awesome. We got everything back in order in no time. That included testing of the spinnaker and some adjustments to the main fix we sewn over the last two days. We are hoping it’s gonna hold up because it seems there’s quite a bit of light downwind sailing in out near future. Right now we have a perfect broad reach. The gennaker and the full main is keeping us in the low teens, which is significantly faster than the jib and the 3rd reef we carried during the yesterday’s gale. However we don’t expect it to be long before the wind turns behind and may become even lighter, which is when the working spinnaker even shortened by the fix will be significantly more effective than he genoa alone. Because in the multihull the main cannot be let out beyond the shrouds that are pretty far back the main dead
downwind is not a viable options. Anything down of brad reach also causes the main to cover the ginnie so the duo is out of the question. On the other had genoa alone is too small for the light winds We haven’t tried the gennaker alone yet. We shall see. Keep your fingers crossed in any case. Just for the record. Facing the new temperatures in the low teens I finally caved in today and put on socks and shoes for the first time in about a year and a half. Weird feeling, but I am probably gonna get used to it given the forecast ;).
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Bartek and the crew of Poly.
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