Day 11 at sea and we are all becoming very familiar with the routine on the boat. The day begins with a morning nap after the previous night shift to try and catch up with some much wanted sleep. Then onto the chores of the day of prepping food, checking our position and the dreaded water maker. We have been having some issues with our power in the last few days - a few cloudy days, some misuse of power and the inefficiency of the solar panels when covered in salt water had led to us being in almost complete shutdown on day 8. However, the sun came out and the batteries charged but we are now extremely careful with how we use our precious power. This has led to night shifts being filled with the sound of chatter rather than iPods and the use of head torches rather than the main lights. All part of the experience and a good way to get to know each other even better!
The last couple of days have also meant a change in passage planning - we noted that our position in the fleet had dropped and that teams further south of us are going quicker with a better guarantee of weather. Thus you will have noted that we have pushed south in the last 24-48 hours with the hope of catching the trade winds for the next week or so. However, the seas are quite large at the minute and anyone on deck has been getting a good soaking each shift.
Yesterday we had a real treat with the visit of a Portuguese yacht whilst in the middle of the ocean! Our AIS alarmed (a system which displays boats that may cross your path to avoid collisions) at about 6pm to show a 40ft yacht heading westwards at about 7 knots. We called them over the VHF radio and they popped over to say hello as they were intrigued to see a ‘small ocean rowing vessel’. It was a real morale boost to see some other smiling faces and put us in good stead for the night ahead.
Here’s hoping the fast, if wet, weather continues into the new year.
Happy new year