After the shock and awe of the storm we went through the last few days, it is a very welcome change to have little wind. It is unfortunately just too little wind to sail it and we were forced to turn the engine on to get somewhere. Like on the last leg, we are taking this opportunity to dry our kit, dry the mattresses, and get some kip in the sun. The swell as calmed down quite a bit, so it is quite a straight forward task to hold the rudder straight on the rhumbline while having a cup of tea, enjoying the sun and some good conversation.
So welcome in the English Channel it said, as we took the exit right. We found some substantial shipping and had conversations with even more boat. A highlight today was a grey square shape which was identified as a cargo ship afar. Usually these shapes tend to change as the ship moves along and shows a different profile. This square grey box however had a periscope and in the binoculars the hull shape and aft rudder was clearly visible. Zey probaply noticed we had spotted das U-Boot and zen vent for a dife. The dive did not take too long but was really cool to see how suddenly the whole square took an angle to immerge and then disappeared from the horizon.
Also on the horizon is EH01. We had a quick sat phone call with them this morn to check them out as the internet was down for a little and we were pretty close indeed. Obviously, they are in our wake. Enough said.
Matt and Dave are fine tuning their astro navigation while the guys off watch doze on the deck or in their cot.
A few minutes ago, Northern Child’s engine abruptly shut down. No panic. We turned the contact off and went through the usual and logical trouble shooting list of what could have gone wrong. After having established our own diagnosis which was a particle in the fuel system which would clog it and cut the fuel supply to the engine, we called the Performance Yacht Charter shore team to confirm our thoughts. They did and after a few minutes under sail to get everything back in place, our engine war roaring again, pushing our enormous weight through the water. The tide is currently with us, so we are absolutely ripping along, and getting closer and closer to our base harbour in Portsmouth.
ETA is the buzzword now and we are all thinking of what we will order first what we go ashore. For some it is a big steak, for others it is a pint of beer, intravenous please. We also reflect on our trip and what comes next. Indeed, we have achieved a bit less than 4000 nautical miles (3763NM) in 25 days, which is an average speed of 150.52 miles a day or a speed of 6.27 knots, lulls and storms included. For some the morning routine of the coffee to jump start the day, for others the fact of not flying across the room are really appealing. We will all have grown in this experience and definitely explored our inner selves.
We all had an awesome time. Sometimes it was difficult, sometimes it was pure bliss. We have witnessed the broadest range of conditions you could ever meet. Flat calm in a stinging sun to monster waves, storm winds and horizontal rain. Bitter cold Atlantic night watches and roasting in the bunk in the Carribean. Life starts at the end of the comfort zone, and we clearly went beyond it, making it the experience of a lifetime.
It is not finished yet, but tomorrow Northern Child should bring us safely to our final destination. Everybody seems to be happy and to be enjoying it. Impossible to describe it further so far, and tomorrow I am expecting huge grins and endorphins rushes in our brain as we step off the boat.
We are now having our last happy watch as we dodge fishermen and cargo ships in a perfect English Channel sunset. Salcombe’s headland is even in sight!
More from us tomorrow and we wish you all a very good evening too.
This is Northern Child – happiest boat in the world.