The fleet are settling well into life at sea. Those boats who opted for the more northerly route along the rhumb line are experiencing exceptionally light winds, as forecast by Chris Tibbs in the Skipper’s Briefing. Those taking the more south-easterly route, are enjoying more favourable conditions and are expecting to pick up the trade winds in the next 24 hours or so. L’Ondine is leading the fleet, Solano is leading the racing fleet and Bare Necessities the cruising division.
Along with the breeze has come a light dusting of Saharan sand, and potentially the odd cricket – although there is some debate amongst crews as whether these are Las Palmas stow aways! Joule has welcomed an additional crew member onboard, ‘Seymour’, a Eurasian Kestral. She is making herself at home onboard, even venturing into the saloon to perch on the day bed.
For some of the crews, the first few days have been spent getting used to watch patterns and ironing out technical problems onboard. From heads, autopilots and self furlers on Graptolite to generator and inverter challenges on Champagne Hippy - which resulted in an hour wait for the first cup of tea of the day… “No caffeine = not a happy crew”
There have been many sightings of dolphins and whales across the fleet, with Asante spotting a pod of Minke whales. Reports of fishing successes have been mixed, with TicLuna, Uno and Champagne Hippy landing some impressive Mahi Mahi – and enjoying sashimi for dinner. Whilst JaZoFi have had less luck and enjoyed a Michelin star worthy mushroom stew and cous cous. Our citizen scientists, including Seth aged 11 onboard Saltair, are getting into the swing of taking daily reading for SeaLabs.