Here is Sir Robin's update from on board Grey Power: Monday, 10th November

Monday, November 10, 2014

Just found the jib over the side. Peak lashing gone. Cannot see the reason yet.After an hour of struggling, and the loss of fingernails, the sail is back on board and appears undamaged. I will await daylight to see what, if anything can be done to get it re-hoisted.

The fact that it is on a roller furler adds to the difficulties. That is my strong off wind sail and we are noticing its loss already with a big drop in speed. The staysail just is not large enough for this work. Might have to bear off for the reacher, but again, it can wait for daylight.

Otherwise it was the first magical night. There were clouds but behind them a clear sky and the stars showing with all the brightness that comes when there is no ambient light. I tried to recognise some of the 96 we used to know for navigation for star sights and checking the compasses when I was a young navigator, but cannot claim a great success.

The wind is just abaft the beam on our present course, designed to take us south of the Azores High Pressure system.Go too close to that system and the wind lightens; too far and you increase the distance to sail. This is why we all go through the satellites for weather information, and hope that the met people at NOAA have got their model right.

I came within a mile of another yacht in the race around noon, Setti Ltd.

We spoke on the VHF, an amicable conversation despite being in both broken French and English!

After this first week I have nearly consumed five gallons of water for all purpose. I have a further ten gallons on board, plus an emergency 2 gallons and I have not used the water maker yet; nine gallons of diesel have gone into the main tank to supply the engine for charging purposes and I have some 26 gallons left.Food there is in plenty as I am not eating anything like

3000 calories a day which I provisioned for.The main exercise comes with the occasional grind on the winches as I don't have to walk far for anything. Cigarettes ran out 2 days ago.That was deliberate, if possibly unwise.The whiskey won’t last until the finish, another inducement to get a move on.

It won’t be long before the bucket of sea water gets tipped over my head, but although the air temperature has got noticeably warmer, it is not yet that warm!But I think I'll get a few more degrees south first!


Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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