6 May – One week at sea – (cape town to the start of the race)

ONE WEEK AT SEA _________________________

Well, as of this afternoon it’s a week that I’ve been at sea! I will have covered about 850 miles which is not bad considering 2 days that were absolute drifters where only about 60 miles was covered? I think today will be the best mileage? I’ve currently got 25 knots out of the SSE and quite a big sea running so with one reef in the main and 2/3’s of the genoa poled out, we’re making an average of around 7 knots with ‘surfs’ up to 9!I’ve established a routine on board now that we’re away from shipping lanes and traffic in general. I have a cup of rooibos early in the predawn and assess whether I’ll be able to get sights of the very beautiful planets around that time, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Unfortunately, the early mornings have also been very overcast and today there was even light rain, so I haven’t been successful. Usually, I then have a bowl of muesli and write up the logbook, draw up a plotting sheet and do a bit of housekeeping. Then if there’s nothing to be done to the sails, I catch up on some sleep. I’ve been trying to recreate race conditions but without breaking the boat so I’ve been through most of my downwind sail combinations to see where crossover points are etc. I don’t want to wear my sails out before the race so I’ll most likely take my foot off the gas once past St Helena! I guess the urge to see if I can beat my race times to St Helena from previous years is just too strong? I don’t intend to stop there but a Saint that did a delivery with me many years ago has promised to bring a cold beer out to meet me if the timing is right when I go past there. Afternoons have been spent taking sun sights, improving on sail handling systems and generally just messing around on board. I’ve not been successful at fishing. Since passing Saldanha, I’ve seen almost zero wildlife. I saw two seabirds on Wednesday and one yesterday. No dolphin, no whales, nothing. I did have my first tiny flying fish on deck yesterday morning though, so there’s hope?Late afternoons I make supper, depending on my mood. I’ve had some ‘interesting’ meals! None would win awards but all have been tasty and nutritious. On Wednesday evening, I did a radio test call with James Scott and were able to chat clearly on two channels over a range of 650 miles so that’s one piece of kit that’s working well. Now to get the weatherfax working like it should. Regards to all,Cheers,Jeremy

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