09.01. 23.45 GMT “The moon has just come out, though only half of it is left. This is the second day we are running, as it befits the trade winds. Yesterday night on the way to LP we reefed one more, while running between 15-20 knots with the reacher, wind strength around 22-27.
Before LP in the dawn we reached a cargo, we were going in the same direction but we passed it as if it was coming opposed. It was a nice feeling.
We barely passed the islands when the wind increased. I thought I wouldn’t wake C, I’d do the reefing by myself. Decimeter by decimeter I managed to lower the second line without any trouble. It is not as easy as it sounds during downwind because if I make any mistakes, I could break the battens. Around noon the wind was 35 kts, the reacher was too much. This one I didn’t want to undertake alone, it needs more hands. In addition, the previously tied down A3 gennaker was still on the bow deck, which was now full of water. By the time we had managed to fold it, wrap it, and then pull it next to the helms, our arms had expanded. With full of water it weighs at least 200 kgs.
So we rolled up the reacher, lowered it, tied it down on the bow deck, now it’s his turn to soak up all the water coming on board. Every third wave floods across the deck, bounces, convulses, everything’s wet. We put solent in its place, now we progress steadily. From time to time we reach a speed of 20-22 when surfing on a bigger wave. Unfortunately not the most remunerative wind angle – 155 degrees TWA (true wind angle). We have to keep depth, though our average speed is not that ideal. When we miss a big wave, our speed slows down to 12.
Now gybed before changing the shift. In these wind conditions the only possible way to do this is if we roll up the jib and concentrate only on the main. We tie it down in the middle, prepare the backstays and wait for a good wave. We need the boat to speed up so that the sail doesn’t lash to the other side too strong. Even like this, there is far enough dynamism that I always worry about the battens.
Today, out of adventurousness I go through some speed data between Gibraltar and LP, what the time results are for the others. If I exclude those few hours when we were treading water at Casablanca, or the time we were in action to rescue the gennaker, then technically we did the just as much days to reach LP as the ‘main body’. I’m satisfied with this.
Sometimes I need to ‘wrestle’ with C because he would go so badly, he wants to change sails in every third minutes, and always the upper limit. We have talked about our philosophy several times, he would acknowledge, but still the competitor works in him very heavily. If things don’t go the way he’d considered as the right choice, he frats and fumes, snorts, and passes comments. I just smile about him. It had happened lots of times that I nod OK, but first let’s finish the food or I play for time with something else and then he says, okay I’ve changed my mind that’s not a good choice after all.
Even with all this, we can work very well together, fight for things when necessary, and the mood is great on board. We don’t follow a strict timing of shifts. We wake each other when extra help needed, and let each other rest when possible. One shift is maximum 4 hours long, but it can be longer during the daylight – it all depends on the weather.”
translated by L.Fa