Phillippa Hutton-Squire’s report to the race committee
This is our 3rd monday at sea and we are only just half way to Itajai. I cant believe how slow this race has been. I would have thought that by now we would be at the equator.
Yesterday we made a tactical decision to head west again. Having looked at the front runners and our tactiques to cross the doldrums we decided we needed to be further west. Kite up and we blasted along all afternoon. The wind steadily increased and by sunset we made a cautious decision to go bear headed with one reef. The waves were big and the wind was gusty and strong. We still had 3000nm to go so we needed to be careful and look after the boat. By 23H00 there was a strange line of black clouds in the sky. It was like we were going to sail under a bridge. The waves started to break over the back of the boat and down my front. I was now cold and confused as to what was going on. The air was warm and the wind was up again. The boat was cork screwing all of the waves. I could not see any thing as it was very dark. Soon the clouds moved away and the wind eased off. I think we pasted through a front. After the front we gybed south and hoisted the fractional kite again. It was
we were back in our boots and warm clothes but soon we were too hot for words.
Pip and I took it in turns to helm as it was tricky. You could not see anything, one really had to use their senses. Finally sunrise came and we started the day with oats and tea. We put the pilot on as the wind had dropped so we could chat about the weather and make a plan for the coming days. Happy to be heading south and, both of us happy with the miles we had gained during the night it was a good way to start the day.
Today was my first shower and second time I brushed my hair. We have been so busy on board that Pip and I haven’t really had much time to do these things. With the kite up and going a long at 10 knots or so I poured some sea water over myself. This time is was voluntary. It was not a rogue wave coming and bashing me on the head. I got out the soap and washed my hair. Long hair is not easy to manage at sea but it sure felt good after several buckets of water. Feeling refreshed and the auto pilot doing its trick we are finally heading south.