7 May – cape town to the start of the race

We’re having quite a relaxed but rolly day. It started off wet and windy but by about 11h00 the sun was out and the wind had stabilized somewhat. After a rather slow Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning , the wind came properly last night and the 24 hour run was 155. I’m not getting overly clever and trying to find the best 24 hours, just running everything from 12h00 UTC to 11h59 UTC. makes it easier? We’ve had some thundering runs with the boat speed in the upper 8’s for a couple of hours at a time. Wind is usually 25 plus then and 1/3 genoa and main either one or two reefs to balance. Dead downwind and Ellen doesn’t miss a trick, even with a big and unruly following sea. I have even grown accustomed to sleeping under the conditions! Not for long though, but sleeping nevertheless. On Wednesday when it got light, and before it died completely, I had the A3 up and a staysail. Even in 5-8 knots it kept the boat speed 4-5. That could be the difference between slow and stop? Anyway, it’s all academic until I get to sail alongside the competitors? Below 5 knots wind speed , in any direction, we simply stop. Too much wetted surface area, but I guess the others will be in a similar situation?I’m just at the edge of the Valdivia Banks, hoping that the shallower water may attract fish and not trawlers! I haven’t seen a soul since north of Saldanha and almost zero sea life. Two birds yesterday and two today. A small flying fish corpse on deck yesterday morning but not a dolphin or a whale. I ⁸his morning. But the feature of the moment is definitely the sea state. I was hoping to find longer more orderly swells like I’ve experienced in the past? Maybe it’s a timing thing given that this is the latest in the year that I’ve sailed this stretch N? You would not have enjoyed the sea conditions in this boat. We are rolling quite badly. Better than a Lello, but still badly enough that getting around is a real pain. At least she tracks very well, and isn’t pushed up or down by the swell too much.

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