Northern Child is as always sailing proudly through the Atlantic bound for her home port of Portsmouth. In the process of doing so, the brave sea men onboard are driving her with determination and dedication. Because this is just what we do and how we do it.
We dropped the mainsail yesterday and are sailing now with the genoa only. It is a bit slower but much more convenient to drive sail with as the risk is much smaller and you can sail deeper than with the main which would for the same result have to be pushed on the spreaders and shrouds (sticks pushing the shrouds off the mast, the shrouds being the cables holding the mast onto the deck) which is quite harmful for our poor main. The drop was quite emotional because it was a bit windy and the operation requires the boat heading into the wind, increasing so the apparent wind. The swell was in the same direction so it seemed for a while as if we were in the Southern Ocean, just milder.
We were later followed again by these black dolphin whales or whatever they are and kept on going.
Our current strategy is to stick to the rhumb line or to be a bit South of it. The latest weather data still show this rather windy patch coming onto us on June 1st, but the skipper got his initial thoughts confirmed by the Performance Yacht Charter shore team that we were fine up to 40 knots down wind. We are expecting around 30 downwind, so it should not be a problem. Had we been in the Irish sea however it would have looked ugly. But with our current position and preparation, it is just fine. We had gusts up to 32 to knots and it was just fast and fun sailing.
The quick sunny intermission in the grey sky was immediately used to make a sun sight by Matt, Dave and Glen. Best of luck for computing the figures later.
Since then it has been surfing on waves and chatting about food and technology stuff. Matt and Par, the boat’s doctor, sometimes switch on their geek mode and talk about advanced medical stuff leaving David and Cedric just with the question whether or not the guy survived in the end.
All in all it is all pretty relaxed so far and we are getting ready for the worst, expecting the best for the June 1st blow. We took the storm jib out (heavy duty genoa) and had a look at it so that if need be everybody knows what he has to do. Normally the storm jib should stay in the bag, but who knows.
In the later afternoon we crossed pretty close a big and odd looking ship. It was actually a pipeline layer boat with 160 souls onboard and was bound for Alabama. Quite a distance when you think about it.
All the apples are gone now, and so are the bananas. Good thing marshmallows are full with vitamins and healthy stuff so we can keep going on on these. A marshmallow a day keeps the doctor away. Tonight we also had fire fighter food, aka chili.
So today was really just another day in the office, but still living the dream though it is grey, colder and more wet.
All the best from a bit more than 500 miles from the Entrance to the English Channel.
Northern Child, beardiest boat in the Atlantic