The day began with the excitable tones of Renaud at the helm. They were the noises he normally makes when there are dolphins or other appealing marine wildlife about, although also displayed when referring to the Southern Ocean penguins he so fondly reminisces of. This time, however, was the first exception to this rule since he joined us in Antigua. Today, Renaud found a rainbow.
This was a rainbow, in fact a double rainbow, worthy of the penguin-spotting delight it was given. Never have I seen a more intense, vivid and colourful set of stripes cutting through the sky, and it seemed as though Disco was right at the base of it. Whether this means there is now a pot of gold somewhere on the boat, or if the boat is now in fact made of gold I don’t know, but it was very pretty to look at for a while.
The rest of the day has seen continued good progress eastwards, with what will probably be our best daily run of the trip so far, at least on target. We got some more weather advice in from our partners at WRI earlier, which nicely matches up with the conclusions we’ve been drawing aboard from our Weatherfax analyses, that we are best to continue heading east with whatever tacking necessary to maintain progress, and can then start to make our way more north to lay a course for Los Angeles. As previously mentioned, to ‘cut the corner’ would not do us any favours in regard to wind conditions, so it’s more miles for less time, as is so often the case.
The evening saw another brief hove-to, so we could fully appreciate the curry that Stars had laid on, with such quantity and substance that it is the only meal I have ever seen Henry not finish in all the 6 months we’ve been sailing together. Quite the achievement that, or Henry’s gone on a secret diet (which is unlikely). While the food was good, the view was fairly bleak: a typical North Pacific providing an overcast and grey backdrop, with the brisk breeze necessitating full layers even for 10 minutes. Henry remarked that it was more like a funeral than a fun team dinner, but 10 minutes with everyone together (often hard to achieve) made me happy at least.
It also gave the opportunity to unveil the first attempt at a purebred Disco ocean chocolate cake, which seems to have worked out OK. Half of it disappeared in the first hour, so it’s either really good, or everyone has completing revised their standards. I’m fine with either approach, as during it’s creation discovered that I’ve bought too much chocolate to top it off with compared to the rest of the ingredients, so now have that to keep me going until LA, and can’t think of much else than that happy thought for now. I will find a way round the apparent absence of biscuits, one discovery at a time.
Evening saw a big squall during my watch, which completely overpowered the boat in a way that I’ve never experienced on Disco before. As the wind quickly built we leant right over, the leeward side completely disappearing underwater, and I had the helm hard over to weather to try and keep the boat straight. Attempting to bear away, it felt like to put any more force on the steering would be risking some damage somewhere in the system, so I let the boat gently round up, which it did with open enthusiasm, so I could finally let go of the helm, jump forward, and dump the mainsheet. Certainly woke me up from a very sleepy state behind the wheel, and it’s nice to still discover new sailing experiences on the boat after so long, especially when they don’t involve breaking things.
It’s getting ever colder, with the first appearance of a Stars’ woolly hat yesterday – now the official benchmark for when it’s got beyond ‘chilly’. I seem to be the only person aboard without grey tracksuit bottoms, of which I am infinity proud. Ty is now able to display the full range of fashion he acquired from the Salvation Army when in San Diego, which basically replaced his entire wardrobe. However, after 3 years on the go, it was about high time for some fresh style for the man. Although, whether any of what we’re all wearing right now and the condition in which we’re all in can be referred to as stylish is, I would say, highly debatable.
Date: 29th June 2017
Position: 27°02.2N 141°17.0W
Wind: NE 3
Swell: NE 2-4ft
Sky: 7/8 altostratus
Weather: Fair during day, squally at night.
With the support of our partner Weather Routing Inc.
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