ROUTE DU RHUM – DESTINATION GUADELOUPE

 

While Boris Herrmann took this morning the head of the fleet of IMOCA with a very Western option, the navigator of the Monaco Yacht Club, who participates in his first solo transatlantic, was confiding last night on his first part of race.

 

Now I am sitting here taking my “apero” alone. A beer and bel cheese with crackers. I try not to think about the race for 20 minutes. I feel it’s important to refresh my mind starting to be quite tired. A moment of mental recuperation after the stressful first days.

A long swell is pushing us like a very deep breath and then almost stopping us. This is the rhythm of my day. Maybe 4-5 meters but the swell is very long. Not ideal on my upwindcourse as it lowers significantly the average speed. But for my evening beer it’s impressive to see and I try to enjoy. The sunset is fast. When I started this text it was just starting. Now the horizon is purple and grey. As I sail south I can’t see the sunset itself. It’s hidden by the high side of Malizia heeling over to the east and no view to the west. I look out to the northeast from my Veranda cockpit. Rapidly I feel also the temperature dropping. Big amplitude between day and night.

 

Yesterday’s j3 tack breakage is still stuck in my bones. My mind less innocent, always looking up to the mast and sails as if I got weakened in my confidence. Maybe also because I am pushing Malizia hard. J2 and one reef at 22-24 knots wind from 65 degrees. 

 

I miss my companions sitting here with me usually on all our other trips. I think thankfully about my teammates. Can’t wait to find them again in Guadeloupe. It’s often hard to disconnect the senses from the boat and stop sailing in the brain to sleep. I then try to picture Malizia gliding quietly along on perfect flat water. I try to picture my arrival in Guadeloupe reunited with my friends. Still not easy to sleep. The wind is so unstable that I can’t relax. The boat is soaking and suffering and so I am. Basically since the start. In that sense it can only get better. 

 

 

I miss my companions sitting here with me usually on all our other trips. I think thankfully about my teammates. Can’t wait to find them again in Guadeloupe. It’s often hard to disconnect the senses from the boat and stop sailing in the brain to sleep. I then try to picture Malizia gliding quietly along on perfect flat water. I try to picture my arrival in Guadeloupe reunited with my friends. Still not easy to sleep. The wind is so unstable that I can’t relax. The boat is soaking and suffering and so I am. Basically since the start. In that sense it can only get better. 

 

24 h ago I was highly stressed. Had just managed to repair and tryout the j3 when I got hit by a series of squalls. Some up to 43 knots. My god what a stress. Each time you think if you should furl the j3. And then suddenly the wind is back to normal. Later at night we started slamming so hard that it became impossible to live on board. I couldn’t sit anywhere or stand. I had the choice to go to delivery mode or to keep racing. But the only place to exist is the bunk, ideally asleep. I think I managed to sleep some but maybe only minutes. I had to press hard with my legs against the bulkhead to prevent sliding forward in every wave. Each gust I lift my head and observe the instruments under tension. Made some good miles that night and this morning second place. Our little moment of glory. Very conscious that this is not likely to remain. But why not enjoy as we are here today!

It all depends on the high pressure and ridge situation. A cold front is pushing from the west and helping to develop a new high. The models say I would be in the perfect timing to just take advantage and slide through but it remains highly uncertain. The formation of a new high is less accurate in the predictions than a big system. Now I need a big chunk of luck to still be in the race next Monday when I will have finally reached the trade winds.

 

Besides endless studies of routes and models there is now the factor of destiny. It will happen as it will. I am in my special west position away from the fleet and can’t correct this anymore.

ROUTE DU RHUM – DESTINATION GUADELOUPE

 

While Boris Herrmann took this morning the head of the fleet of IMOCA with a very Western option, the navigator of the Monaco Yacht Club, who participates in his first solo transatlantic, was confiding last night on his first part of race.

 

Now I am sitting here taking my “apero” alone. A beer and bel cheese with crackers. I try not to think about the race for 20 minutes. I feel it’s important to refresh my mind starting to be quite tired. A moment of mental recuperation after the stressful first days.

A long swell is pushing us like a very deep breath and then almost stopping us. This is the rhythm of my day. Maybe 4-5 meters but the swell is very long. Not ideal on my upwindcourse as it lowers significantly the average speed. But for my evening beer it’s impressive to see and I try to enjoy. The sunset is fast. When I started this text it was just starting. Now the horizon is purple and grey. As I sail south I can’t see the sunset itself. It’s hidden by the high side of Malizia heeling over to the east and no view to the west. I look out to the northeast from my Veranda cockpit. Rapidly I feel also the temperature dropping. Big amplitude between day and night.

 

Yesterday’s j3 tack breakage is still stuck in my bones. My mind less innocent, always looking up to the mast and sails as if I got weakened in my confidence. Maybe also because I am pushing Malizia hard. J2 and one reef at 22-24 knots wind from 65 degrees. 

 

I miss my companions sitting here with me usually on all our other trips. I think thankfully about my teammates. Can’t wait to find them again in Guadeloupe. It’s often hard to disconnect the senses from the boat and stop sailing in the brain to sleep. I then try to picture Malizia gliding quietly along on perfect flat water. I try to picture my arrival in Guadeloupe reunited with my friends. Still not easy to sleep. The wind is so unstable that I can’t relax. The boat is soaking and suffering and so I am. Basically since the start. In that sense it can only get better. 

 

 

I miss my companions sitting here with me usually on all our other trips. I think thankfully about my teammates. Can’t wait to find them again in Guadeloupe. It’s often hard to disconnect the senses from the boat and stop sailing in the brain to sleep. I then try to picture Malizia gliding quietly along on perfect flat water. I try to picture my arrival in Guadeloupe reunited with my friends. Still not easy to sleep. The wind is so unstable that I can’t relax. The boat is soaking and suffering and so I am. Basically since the start. In that sense it can only get better. 

 

24 h ago I was highly stressed. Had just managed to repair and tryout the j3 when I got hit by a series of squalls. Some up to 43 knots. My god what a stress. Each time you think if you should furl the j3. And then suddenly the wind is back to normal. Later at night we started slamming so hard that it became impossible to live on board. I couldn’t sit anywhere or stand. I had the choice to go to delivery mode or to keep racing. But the only place to exist is the bunk, ideally asleep. I think I managed to sleep some but maybe only minutes. I had to press hard with my legs against the bulkhead to prevent sliding forward in every wave. Each gust I lift my head and observe the instruments under tension. Made some good miles that night and this morning second place. Our little moment of glory. Very conscious that this is not likely to remain. But why not enjoy as we are here today!

It all depends on the high pressure and ridge situation. A cold front is pushing from the west and helping to develop a new high. The models say I would be in the perfect timing to just take advantage and slide through but it remains highly uncertain. The formation of a new high is less accurate in the predictions than a big system. Now I need a big chunk of luck to still be in the race next Monday when I will have finally reached the trade winds.

 

Besides endless studies of routes and models there is now the factor of destiny. It will happen as it will. I am in my special west position away from the fleet and can’t correct this anymore.