Wind: 205 / 25 kts, Weather: cloudy with passing showers, Swell: 2 m northerly, Temp: 15 deg. C
Ahoy there Shipmates,
Overnight the Ship remained on a ESE course on the port tack on a beam reach with northerly winds which gradually abated to only just over 5 kts. With a northerly swell of about 2 m we rolled incessantly and uncomfortably. Maximum sail was set to increase speed and reduce the roll.
The Ship went to tacking stations at 0815 to wear-ship in response to a wind shift to a SSW direction. The Ship ended-up on the starboard tack sailing almost on a beam reach, sailing as close to the wind as possible.
Mid morning the wind picked up and with it came some heavy showers.
We had a morning brief in the café, to get out of the rain. That was followed by the usual Happy Hour and then the watches got together for a mid-voyage chat about individual goals for the voyage. The placing results came in at 1200 and Young Endeavour was in 6th place ahead of the retired Picton Castle. The nearest Ship to us was the Lord Nelson 25 miles ahead.
During the dogs the wind strengthened to 25 kts and boat speed increased to 10 kts. The hope is we will start to gain on the other ships between here and the first waypoint.
The past 48 hours from the perspective of the Mighty Whitey White Watch
Morale is lifting as most are conquering their seasickness, Youthies and crew included. The record holder for most spewing sessions, below deck, on deck and aloft goes to the small but gutsy Kelly Destroyer with a grand total of 30. Hard to believe we know. With this lifting morale also comes an increased competitiveness both between individuals and watches. White Watch holds the current highest speed of 11.5 knots achieved on a night in high winds and huge rolling swell. Annika steering us bravely at the helm.
‘Hectic’ was the word of the day: Storms have seen us on constant watch and on high alert. Sudden changes in the winds speed and direction led to a call of “All able hands on deck!” Sunday evening.
67 knot gusts equalling 124km/h buffeted the ship in a time when most sails were set, the result being intense periods of sail furling and setting. The fore staysail has sustained some superficial damage near its clew (the bottom corner, for non sailors). The main staysail furling drum was caught at one point during this high wind drama. However the quick and able actions of the naval crew throughout this event and others during this voyage have ensured that no one has come to harm, bar some slides across the deck. We feel privileged to be sailing with such an able crew.
Over the following 24 hours, the ship remained in tumultuous seas. With conditions of Sea state 6, force 9: ‘High waves, dense streaks of foam along the direction of the wind, crest of waves begin to topple, tumbling and roll over .’ Over the night, the ship continued to balance on crests of waves looking over a 2 storey drop down to the water below on both port and starboard sides.
The impact of these winds and swell below deck was vast and entertaining, sliding around the galley were not only able bodied people, but also serving dishes full of food, plates, cups and their contents, and… the occasional fridge. GoPros caught much of the action, although the comedic slap stick was to be found in all areas of our fine vessel. We have the bruises to our body and our egos to prove it. Never has our Happy Hour been so appreciated as when Dani’s meal went slipping off her plate and, all class, she felt able to eat it straight off the counter.
While the lee sheets (strips of material made to hold you in your bunk) were in use by some of our crew from very early on in our voyage, this storm has seen them come into a new age of appreciation for all. For without these, a good nights sleep within the confines of a bed would be impossible. As is, we are gaining and using muscles in our sleep we never knew we had.
Since then, the wind and seas have continued to keep us busy with frequent watch changes and daily routines continuing with little disruption – this is the life of a sailor.
The larger competition sees the Young Endeavour falling slightly behind however we remain hopeful that our Navi-guesser is steering us east… Cheers Rico! With the finish line approaching ever nearer the tactical decisions made early in the race, have positioned us to the south of the rest of the fleet, ready to take advantage of strong southerly winds which should continue to blow for three days. With this wind comes renewed hope for line honours.
White Watch has been on duty for 12 of the past 24 hours with the birthday girl Hayley having the best birthday ever! Cake cooked by our fabulous chef Luke, along with birthday songs at all corners has made for a great day.
Inspiration for the days to come for our Watch is found in our leader Sandy – not only is he a killer watch leader, but he is a ballerina aloft, with his strength and speed he is positively awe inspiring.
In summary, all here is well. The laughter continues and there are many more jokes to be made before we reach our final destination.
Yours aye, Annika, Will and Hayley
p.s. Hayley: Ahoi family! I have had a great trip so far and was only sea sick for one day. I was nominated as assistant Sail Master on Sunday and have been having so much fun. My birthday has been really good – great setting, great company. Wishing you were here too. Today has been a birthday to remember! Don’t worry mum, all attempts to swim with the sharks have landed me splashed on my face back on deck… ill keep trying ;). I miss you all a lot and am looking forward to hugs when I get home. Be safe! I love you! Love you James - Love love love xxx
Annika: Just a quick note to the loved ones, I am safe and sound, happy as larry, and loving this new adventure. Cannot wait to get home and show you all the footage from this voyage, it is truly unbelievable!! Maybe not so much for you Dad ;) Sea sickness definitely got hold of me for the first few days. Thank you for your hot tips prior to departure, keeping the wet stuff wet, and going to bed dry has been the best thus far! I have been trying to make you proud :) Love to you Brock, See you in a 10 days. Love love Annika xx
Dani: Just a shout out to Mum and Chris, Hello and love you both!! xx