TransatQSM – Day 6
“I have just come off the helm after probably some of the most exhilarating sailing you could ever ask for. Conditions are downwind, 25 kts wind, fractional spinnaker, and we are blasting down waves average of 17kts. An offshore sailors dream! (and an inshore sailors nightmare!). I have to say I was grinning ear to ear for a bit. This is the sailing we have been waiting for all this time. Actually outside, if it wasn’t for the temperature, you could fool yourself that you were in the tradewinds with the blue sky and deep blue ocean. It’s only when you get a wave pummeling you in the face every so often, with a water temperature of 7 deg, that you realise you are not actually going to see any flying fish. However we did see a whale a few hours ago, quite far from the boat, making an enourmous splash.
“We are currently in 4th place, already 150 miles East of Newfoundland, but are now honing in on the leaders. We made 2 sail changes recently to different spinnakers, losing some time, but now we think we have the ideal weapon for these conditions. Hopefully by the time you get this we’ll be higher up the board!
“Over the next 24 hours we will be crossing “Iceberg Alley’ where the Labrador Current flows south with the breaking ice to the east of Newfoundland before spitting this out into the Atlantic. As a result the race organisers imposed an ice exclusion zone for the race, so we can’t sail further north than 47°N for the first 300 miles. However, the race organisers have also just informed us that there are a few bergs now floating around south of this, to the East of us, right on our course! So we’ll be vigilant in looking out for these on the radar at night. I prefer to see them in the day.. shimmering away clearly.
“Milan is currently on the helm doing a great job and has just sent the boat careering down a wave at over 20 kts as I am trying to write this. Adrien is asleep at the moment after very kindly giving me a lie in of 4 hours, which was amazing I have to say. When I got up he then made porridge for us but gave me an obscene amount of sugar to try and fully wake me up. I guess I must have looked pretty rough and he didn’t want me falling asleep at the helm!”