A taste of Southern Ocean

Nick on motherwatch

Ok – back to sailing again.

Sine we have left Punta del Este, the Atlantic has welcomed us with strong winds and rough seas. This had left some more crew when usual a bit green in the face and with less appetite (including me – but thanks to some medication not as bad as on leg one).

On the positive side, we getting quickly towards Cape Town traveling on the Great Circle Route. That is the shortest way and means going slightly south first and later again a bit north. Still a long way out, but really looking forward to the warmth of South Africa. It is cold down here!

Today is Wednesday the 11th of October and winds have even picked up further. Generally around 35kt, but in gust up to 45kt and we are expecting more. We are flying at speeds between 13 and 20 kt – which is very fast for not sailing with spinnaker and have a setup of smaller sails (Yankee 3, Staysail and the main with 2 reefs in). Sailing is fun – especially helming (i.e. steering the boat).

On the rudder you can feel the forces at work and it’s a bit like a full body work out in these conditions – hey I’m finally getting fit again. Big waves are splashing all over the boat and in the dark night bioluminescent plankton flying through the air and deck.

Unfortunately, the other boats are making similar progress and at the half way mark, we are somewhere in the middle (ok maybe the back middle) of the pack.

After hitting the point furthest South on our route, we are now bearing slightly North again and are hoping for warmer conditions. Most of the crew have now tried out their dry suits and feel prepared for the full Southern Ocean experience on the next leg.

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