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SOH Imoca60 Ship’s log: Nándor Fa, 26-27 June – “I love Socrates’ saying that “virtue does not come from wealth, but wealth comes from virtue”

“We saw that Patrick’s bag of food is awfully slim, but he wouldn’t tell us. The port is still far away, … I love Socrates’ saying that “virtue does not come from wealth, but wealth comes from virtue”… I would do anything to travel back in time and be a part of one of those conversations. …”

27. 06. 12:50 GMT

For the first time during our transat I had some time to read. The difference from my previous routes is that this time I’m reading from a tablet instead of books. I like it, I got used to it. I was reading Móricz and Socrates, the latter one is one of my old favourites, I’m just refreshing the experience. I love Socrates’ saying that “virtue does not come from wealth, but wealth comes from virtue”. Of course I do not agree with this, at least nowadays’ life does not confirm it, but it’s good to read stuff like this. It corroborates our insignificant morals. I’ve been drawn by Socrates’ teaching style of always questioning and leading one’s mind to the conclusion. I would do anything to travel back in time and be a part of one of those conversations.

We had clouds and showers during the night and we slowed a little bit too, but progressed well. We gybed right before it got dark and we’ve been sailing towards SW ever since. My routing program has an option which does not only show the optimal route, but also shows the area, within which the real wind can be followed without having to worry about running out of the wind zone.

Late at night in the dark we met a very strange boat. It seemed like it was going to cross our way but it only had its green and red position lights, we couldn’t tell what kind of a boat it was. Right before it would have reached us it suddenly turned to North. It didn’t seem to make sense. They may have been fishermen, but then in that case they were missing a bunch of necessary lights.

I’ve been receiving the great news about the Hungarian football team’s results in the European Champs even here in the middle of the ocean, I heard about their exceptional resistance. Without having seen any of the matches I am very proud of them! Go guys!

In the morning Karcsi and I became aware that Patrick was chewing on a little piece of bread with a chocolate bar. We know he likes his belly, we would have realized it even if he was trying to cover it. “Do you really like that, or you’re just out of food?” – we asked. We saw that his bag of food is awfully slim, but he wouldn’t tell us. The port is still far away, it’s gonna be hard for him to live on that until we arrive, especially that he likes to eat. He was smiling shyly, we understood. The packs of ready-made food that we purchased right before leaving, are under the bed, so we have enough food. It should be enough to feed me on the way back too. “What’s ours is yours, just eat!” – we said to him. He was happy to take the offer.

Our wind had turned, we gybed, now we’re going to NW on a positive tack. We still have 80 miles of the advised wind zone ahead, we can keep sailing this way for another 8 hours. In this clear downwind we must sail in a deeper angle, otherwise we won’t have speed. Now it’s 145 – 150° TWA (True Wind Angle).

18:45 GMT, 37° 08,3′ N, 039° 31,1′ W, everything is all right.

26. 06. 13:20 GMT

We had an eventful night. At dawn the wind had strongly increased but stayed stable, we had no reason to think of pulling down the A2. Sometimes it went up to 18 knots but that is completely all right with these sails so there we were, running in the night. It slightly started to rain and I could feel that something changed, I didn’t know what but my instincts said I should take on my ‘work pants’, my drysuit and my boots. I went inside to get dressed but there was no time to get into the straps of the overall, the boat suddenly lied down. I jumped out as I was, so did the guys. Short commands shouted, ropes running out screaming, I caught the tiller and tried to bear away with all my energies. We were slowly moving away from wind and the boat started to stand up. There would have been no problem if the genaker’s sheet didn’t run out and the sail didn’t tangle itself around the rolled solent while happily dancing. I ran to the front and started pulling it down with all my powers. Karcsi came to help me, and a few seconds later Patrick too. For a while we succeeded, but then it was stuck at the point where the sail had been wrapped on the solent.

I fixed the halyard on a winch on the mast and were trying with Patrick to pull back the huge surface under the solent. In this case, this enormous amount of square metres that make us go so fast, suddenly becomes uncontrollable. Centimetre by centimetre we managed to capture the wildly flying and clapping white pile of material. We put it directly inside the boat and arranged the ropes. I think we saved it, I didn’t see any damage so far. As far as we were in the action we gybed the main, rolled out the solent on the other tack and when the boat was running again, we all collapsed. It was a manly battle and we got away without any big trouble.

We were running the whole night with these sails. We had a few more gusts, including one that laid us even with this jib. I was thinking of reefing but we would have gotten too under-sailed so I cancelled the thought.

After breakfast we went down to the bow with Karcsi and started to untangle the A2. We pulled it out of the sock as much as we could, unrolled it, then put it back. We’ll see what we’ve done when we hoist it again.

I tried again to take out the insertion piece of the A3’s top fitting. Karcsi held it for me so I could beat it where it should be beaten and I wouldn’t hit my own hand again. But there is no hope. We don’t have any tools onboard that this problem requires to be solved. Finally, as a last chance I thought I would carefully grind the edge of the piece on one side to eliminate the verge and this way it might be easier to hit it out of its place. We brought it to the back of the boat where it’s moving less, the two guys held it while I was grinding. It took me 20 minutes to finish with the edge, without touching the titan fitting itself. We went back to the bow, put the keel’s spanner on its spine – that’s the hardest surface -, put the top fitting on top, then another shift held with a pliers, then bamm. For the second hit it started moving, for the sixth hit it was out. Yessss!

Now it’s 14:10 GMT and we’ve been galloping with the A3 for 3 hours. I feel good, we solved another problem – not just one, a whole series of problems -, and on top of everything we’ve crossed the halfway-line. Now we’re sailing out of the Atlantic.

19:00 GMT

We’re still having a good ride, sometimes faster, sometimes a little less fast, sometimes in the perfect direction, sometimes not, but we’re progressing. Half an hour ago we were caught by a shower, it’s fore-winds and after-winds helped us in the right direction. Patrick took over the instruments and started doing calibrations and settings that don’t require any special reference. He does good to them, now several things seem to work better. We’ll test them in stronger conditions too.

19:10 GMT, 38° 09′ N, 035° 50,2′ W, everything is all right.

27th June Tracking in the morning: