Escape from the Doldrums and the Equator

Well finally the Doldrums have released their grip on us! This was marked by a sudden jump in air pressure as we crossed into the South Atlantic high and a nice steady wind from the SSW. However with the SSW comes another challenge; we have to learn to live life at an angle again until we get down to the SE trade winds properly.

Life downstairs at an angle is a real challenge, particularly for the Mothers (which I’ve just been again). Not only is moving around the boat hazardous but trying to keep pots on the stove and contents in cups, bowls, etc. is even harder. So cooking for 20 is real hard work in these conditions. The bonus at the end of the shift for me was 15 hours off- watch!

During my Mother Watch I achieved another of my goals; we crossed the equator at 14:10 local time, 16:10 GMT on the 1st October. This meant we were visited by King Neptune who invited us all to attend a ceremony today at 11:00 where we will be officially initiated into his realm. Not sure what this is going to involve yet but various items with a strong smell have been retained from the galley, plus some flying fish unfortunate enough to land on the boat……

Morale on board has also improved now that we’ve escaped the Doldrums and able to sail again. This has been helped by the receipt of another message of support from our sponsors – Mission Performance – in the form of a podcast.

As we crack on South now as fast as possible we start to regain some of our lost places, although the chance of regaining the 1st place we held for a while has gone. So we have set targets immediately in front of us to catch and overhaul. One of these we achieved overnight by passing Switzerland, we seem to be able to maintain our pace through the night where other boats don’t. The next target is Team Garmin some 150 miles in front of us now, but on average we are doing 1 – 1.5Knts faster than them, so a real chance of catching them.

All being well my next post should be to say that we have all become Shellbacks (accepted by King Neptune) and that the SE trade winds have kicked in which will allow us to crack off and pop the kite increasing our rapid descent South. Currently we are making around 11-12 Knts to wind, but under kite this should hopefully increase to 15-16.

Rio is now about 5-6 days away!

Tim Tim (cheers)

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My Clipper 13-14 Adventure