First technical problem

Written by David Townsend

28, August 2005

Position Puerto Del Rosario, Islas Canaria.

North Atlantic Ocean.

Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here’s this weeks update.

Well it’s week three into this trip and firstly my apologies for not sending out any messages before now, we have had a few technical problems onboard.

First technical problem and a subject we all like to talk about, the weather. The European weather from day one was not brilliant to say the least, we left Ramsgate at 07:10hrs on a wet Monday morning with 20kts of wind. This soon increased to 27kn; all was okay until we entered Pegwell Bay. A little swell developed and before long the crew were sea sick, not once but twice although I think too many farewell drinks the night before had a lot to do with it. Anyway because of the rain and fog (for 5 days and nights) the solar panels could replace quickly enough the power needed to all our systems, now this had been taken into account with design and on average where we will be sail this very rarely happens.

After virtually crossing the bay of Biscay without incident it was not going to let us go quietly, after just clearing the TSS (Traffic Separation Scheme) off the coast of Spain about 60Nm off shore the weather started to deteriorate with 30kn of wind and a few rollers running in from the Atlantic formed by hitting the continental shelve. However as the day went on so it deteriorate further with Winds reaching 40kn and the average swell around 4 meters then it became interesting as evening approached with a set of four rollers coming in every 10 minutes or so, these reached around 15 meters in height. It was difficult conditions because we had one set of waves coming on our port side, one set of waves coming on our starboard side then the big rollers coming right behind us. Bearing that in mind we could not out run the storm so as at around 20:00hrs the rollers started breaking dangerously close behind us, on a few occasions nearly swamping us. It was at this point I called woody up from below so he was topside encase we turned over then lowered the sails, deployed the drogue and went to bed. In the morning on recovering the drogue we discovered it was torn to shreds.

The rest of the crossing was okay and we arrive in the Canaries at 22:20hrs on 6th August, we are now just chilling out at a local Irish bar watching the moving scenery.

Fair winds, calm seas.