The start of our voyage was pretty quiet. The right time for the new crew to get adapted to the ocean – the wind was around 16 kts and speed of 7 kts. Despite the fact that the start of the race was favorable, most of the crew still lives on water and ship’s biscuits. For the first half of the day captain Reinis was almost the only one who was feeling comfortable. Later on the rest of the crew are also more or less in line, however some are still struggling.
Analyzing the weather forecast and suggestions of Race Control we understood that we will catch the tail of the cyclone that predicted wind up to 35 kts. We put on the second reef ( by the way it came out pretty nice for mostly unexperienced crew), prepared storm jib Nr7, crew talked over all the actions and it seemed that we had a plan how to control the expected storm, but reality was somehow different…
Around 3:00 at night, when barometer had fallen 3mb’s an hour, we caught the “tail” of the cyclone together with a local thunderstorm and gusts up to 52kts, rain and thunder. Lightning hit us so closely that Andris, as a photographer admitted he had never seen so perfectly illuminated night. Andris, who was steering through the thunder, achieved his “personal best”- speed of 12.7kts. However that costed us not only a sleepless night, but also some loss of nerves and total destruction of jib Nr.7. Gust of 45-50 kts lasted for around half an hour and only then everything became as predicted in forecasts – wind around 30kts and 2nd reef meant a pretty high comfort. Until sunrise we kept sailing only with the main sail.
So now we are slowly starting sail training towards North without any special sports results. We feel that nights are becoming shorter. Yesterday’s morning came with a rain and constant wind of 25kts. Around 11:00 Reinis performed Vendee Globe (as we are joking) maneuver by setting up a jib by himself. Well done! (Repeated last night). Around 14:00 the weather became lighter so we decided to set up Genoa 1 and it continued like that till 16:10… when we suddenly discovered that Genoa is slowly sliding down the forestay. Some moments later, all of the crew was trying hard to recover the sail from the water. The result of this duel – sweaty and confused crew, but Genoa 1 safe on board.. However with a slight blue “fingerprint” from underwater painting.
When we checked the halyard, we discovered that it was snapped. Stitching that hold shakel’s ring was unripped. At 16:30 Reinis decided to get up the mast full of hope that the end of the halyard might be stuck on the top. Using the yellow spinnaker halyard Andris and Valts winched Reinis up the mast just to discover that the halyard is already inside the mast and must be taken out from there. That means – just some more work when we get in harbor! Everything seemed solved, but the moment we were winching Reinis down we discovered that the yellow halyard is also almost ripped, slides down and must e cut and fixed with duct tape. After around 20 minutes of struggle and spare security line captain Reinis is safely back on deck…
Capt. Reinis is looking for competitors from top of the mast :)
The crew feel really relieved. It seems that every challenge not only strengthens us but also unites. Later on Reinis rewards the crew with tasty tortillas, Sintija starts to prepare whipped cream on top of our special rye bread soup prepared by Andris. That would be excellent if only…. If only Valts just seconds after taking over the steering wouldn’t announce – why is all the electronics not working??! Really – that is a fact! GPS, speed log, anemometer, lights, compass – everything is off! Some confusion, checking of switches and wires and suddenly… Somebody had just switched off the main service switch that is located under the entrance ladder.
It is enough with the adventures for today! We hope that we have spent them in advance and in future we will report only about the pleasant things like sunsets and our menu! ;)