Daily Blog, Day 2: Chasing the record

Blog Day 2: Lizzy Foreman
Early morning on Saturday and we are now  zooming along, making 16 knots over ground; with the breeze forecast to build we’ve kept the little fractional spinnaker up overnight.  The IMOCA feels like a big dinghy when fully powered up, but it can be quite a handful; I often need two hands on the tiller – as do the boys!
Having got through the third night at sea we’re starting to feel tired. It is difficult to sleep on these boats as it is so noisy inside, with the waves crashing on the hull & the winches being turned on deck. The bunks are extremely narrow to keep you locked in and not thrown across the boat; the Tempur mattress has certainly made life in the bunk much more comfortable, particularly for those who have to sleep on top of the sail stack.
I’m currently listening to the Irish coastguard issue a gale warning, and getting excited about the next few hours, which will see us putting in a few more gybes as we make our way towards Belfast, after which point the wind will be kicking up to 30-35 knots as we make our way to the tip of Scotland. We’ll be changing watch in 45 minutes, with Hammy coming up on deck; if I’m lucky, I might get breakfast in bed if he’s on porridge duty!

Blog Day 2: Jack Trigger
Saturday morning and I'm happy it’s light!  Fortunately, at this time of year the nights aren’t yet too long (although Hammy assures me he prefers night sailing to day sailing, I don’t believe him), last night did seem to draw on.  We have been having minor issues with our instrumentation and wind data, which when it’s dark and there’s no moon or stars to guide you is the only thing keeping you in a straight line!  This required extra concentration especially while driving to keep the boat upright, but we managed well and have a spare CPU which we will try and install this morning!
We’re actually employing a counter-intuitive tactic at the moment – by sailing with a little less sail up than we would usually in these conditions, we are keeping ourselves behind the worst of the low-pressure system ahead.  Of course, there is a safety element to avoiding the worst of the storm, but the main reason is that sailing in the very high winds and big waves will actually turn out to be slower than waiting for it to pass and catching the tail end.
Busy day of gybes ahead which will test our crew work, although we are quietly confident having successfully managed a few in the dark last night.  All to plan and we should be passing Belfast by this afternoon, but first things first time for some breakfast.. 800 calorie strawberry porridge anyone?


lucy harwood