Endeavour of Cork - Day 4-5 Wednesday-Thursday
The wind just keeps on blowing. It creeps down every so often to 23, 22, 21 - I even saw 19 on the dial tonight briefly - and you think, is it finally abating? But then it just ramps up again till it's back at 25 gusting 27. The sea state is as big a challenge as the wind - while it's nowhere near as bad as last night, every so often a wave picks you up and fires you to windward and it's a struggle to get back down to a broad reach again. We'll all be like Popeye by the time we get there!
The wind has backed over the last few hours, so we're a bit further off our course for Cape Verde, heading more in towards the African coast, so I can feel a gybe coming on later today - oh the anticipation!!
We've had a few goes at Movie Night on board, not with a great rate of success so far! Conor and Denise were first with Inception, which they realised they'd seen before and didn't like the first time. Then it was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but the volume on the DVD was poor, and no competition for the wind and sea and general banging and clanking of the boat. So then Breaking Bad was broken out. Unfortunately by halfway through the first episode the combination of heat inside, smell of dinner cooking and watching the screen did for some (me included) and there were a couple of sudden bolts for the outside and fresh air. And it was looking so promising!
Cooking is still a challenge in these conditions. Mostly people are picking the simplest lunches and dinners that can be made with the least fuss and carnage (knives and a pitching boat are not a great combination, and we've already had a freshly chopped bowl of peppers and onions fired all over the floor). There hasn't been a cup of tea or coffee made in about three days - and for those reading this who know me (Mairead), no coffee is a sign of desperate times indeed!
Still windy, still grey, still bouncing around the place. Unfortunately it looks like this is it till we reach Cape Verde - no respite in sight in any of the forecasts we've seen. The windy weather has one big advantage though - we're chewing up the miles and hope to arrive some time tomorrow night. There is an end in sight!!
We performed our duty as net controllers (DJ without the music) this morning, which was fun - any boats who have shortwave radios send in their positions and weather reports which helps build up a picture of what's happening around, and how everyone is doing. There seem to be only about 8 boats ahead of us at the moment (of the 30 or so who have shortwave radios, mind you). Some boats reported difficulty with their radios or electronics, others with equipment, but everyone seems to be well in control and were just letting us all know. News has spread of the result of the US election - we're all in mild shock!!
Flying fish have started appearing regularly - whole shoals (flocks??) of them - tiny little things whizzing along just above the water until they crash into a wave. Funny things! No other wildlife so far except the odd gull-type seabirds that pass us by.
We put a gybe in earlier, but are back on port tack again now. Still doing about 8kts in vaguely the right direction, about 200 miles to go. Denise and Anais have just gone up front to pole out the jib so we can sail closer to our proper course.
Endeavour, over and out.