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Settling In

by Ed Watson, July 5th, 2010

By now there is a bit of a routine being established as the boats continue to drive south to find the trade winds. After 2 or 3 days at sea you’re beginning to get the hang of off shore sailing… or at least you think you are. The watch rotation never seems to provide you with enough rest. When trying to sleep you may be called to help change a sail or reef, or wake up pressed against your lee cloth as the boat heels hard and surfs down a swell. But despite the fatigue, every day also provides moments when you think … “This is Awesome….I hope it never ends.”

Here’s how one of the crew on Turicum described it in their blog today…..

“Two nights ago, on an overcast night, the bioluminescence in the water was the most amazing I have ever seen. We were reaching in 25 knots of wind with a fairly large swell on our beam. The largest rollers were probably 10 -12 feet and several were cresting. The view from the cockpit looked like we were looking out at a huge fleet of ships all with bright green lights the colour of glow sticks. The rollers that were cresting near Turicum looked like they were going to envelope us in green and as they passed under the boat large swathes of lighter green spread across the water. Astern, Turicum’s wake was like a jet trail. Add to that, the fact that sailing in a good breeze at night feels like the boat is travelling impossibly fast, and it all is pretty surreal.
In reality, we are sailing fast. Noon to noon has been over 200 miles in the past two days with speeds regularly in the teens surfing down the waves. Driving the boat in these conditions, is a real challenge – especially at night. One hour of driving seems like ten minutes but is also extremely tiring.”

The boats continue to move well in strong winds with Turicum and Pyreneenne still the closest to Maui. The Class 1 boats are coming on strong and appear to be taking a course west of the leaders. Gales are forecast for the area off northern California, and Tuesday could be a wet and tiring day for all the crews. On the bright side, the weather should be getting a bit warmer by now. 

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