Pip Hare is getting beat up in the North Atlantic NE trade winds at the moment. She wrote about it on her latest blog entry. I’m happy reading this and wondering – is it wrong to be?
Pip is, after all having a slamming and uncomfortable time. She says it’s the only time so far she can’t seem to get her boat, Medallia into a proper rhythm in her race around the whole world. The boat gets comfortable she says, and unfortunately it drops its speed at the same time. Normally, this doesn’t happen. Normally, the boat gets comfortable and speeds up.
I do feel better reading this. This is because I’ve always thought that these trade winds, the winds that blow through this Caribbean region, are seriously freaking fierce. Fighting your way into them is tough. No wonder I guess – they have crossed an entire ocean before they get here.
We lost our dog, Fin in these exact conditions. Boat heeled over, slamming against the waves, reaching into the wind. Fin fell clean overboard.
We rescued her of course. But these winds as Pip is encountering them; up to around 35 knots are tough-going if they aren’t purely on your tail. Since Pip has literally been everywhere else, I am glad to hear her assessment.
It’s been a blustery first of February today. Refreshing to open the hatches and have instant and natural air-conditioning! Because of it, for the first time in a long time, Quest is straining at her mooring lines. We heard one of them really creak all night. This morning, giving Jack a lift to shore, we passed Quest’s bow and discovered the line was on its last thread! Whoa. That was lucky. A quick whip around back to Quest and we tied a new line onto our mooring.
Meanwhile. Pip has finally passed us in latitude on her way back to Europe. She isn’t any where near to us – staying well off the Caribbean island chain, but she is still further west to where she was hoping to be. This is because, in order to avoid some big wintry weather systems, she needs to get west of the Azores High. This is the natural meteorological roundabout of the North Atlantic. It’s going to add 1,000nm to her way home, but Pip says she doesn’t mind. That’s the way sailing goes.
She is such an inspiration, Pip Hare. I had no idea who she was before she began racing the Vendée Globe. I like to think of her out there now, shaking out another reef of her sail – as she says, to maintain her competitive challenge. I would seriously be putting a reef (or three) in.
The girls meanwhile, they like hearing about her too. ‘Can she stop and pick us up?’ Lu asks.
‘Yeah, we can ask her if she’ll drop us off in Borth?’ Delph says. Both girls start laughing like crazy.
Yeah yeah. But it is amazing how she can travel an ocean. How she can move.