260 Miles & Some Drama!
Well what a 48 hours we’ve had!!!
In the first 24 we had sailed bang on 260 NM which means we averaged 10.9 knots for the 24!!!
We have had consistently 30 – 35 knots of wind behind us or as I say, “up the chuff!”
The record of 20.9 stood , until yesterday when, moi, Paulo Speedy Gonzales Adamson was steering Lush when the perfect wave arrived with the perfect gust of wind…LUSH listened to her skipper and dropped into that wave and launched herself like a base jumper off a mountain down the face of what was a good proper ocean roller! We all jumped for joy when the log topped out at 21.2 knots!!!
Dave (Previous record holder), Marty & Audrey could only watch as they saw their previous record tumble and now Conor and James the other members of the newly named watch, “Team 21.2” are now taking lessons in being, well smug, in our new name!!! That is until they come back at us!
21.2 knots…we reckon that could be a new Oyster World Record……we will just need to check with the team back at Guinness to check the validity of that!!!
The rest of yesterday was just stunning, decent breeze, hot sun and the Atlantic was a deep blue!
Speaking of deep…the crew looked a bit perturbed when they asked how close was the nearest land…I started off by saying, “well around 1000 miles but of course the nearest land is 6km….DOWN!!!!!”
Anyhow…..onto the past 24 hours…..well I feel like Noah with the Ark!
There is rain and then there is RAIN!!!!! Even Joe (Aurdey’s Dad) who comes from the west of Ireland said, “I’ve never seen rain like it…now Paul…don’t you be complaining next time you’re in the West and giving out about the rain!!!”
Last night saw us challenged with Squall after squall after squall!
In the Atlantic during the day all that lovely hot sun builds rain squalls which we have to dodge at night, handy as rain reflects RADAR and one of the night watch instructions is keep an eye on the RADAR and prepare for any big splodges coming at us!
To put this into perspective – in these squalls the wind can change from 15kts to 50 kts in the space of a minute with a massive wind shift and its normally consists of a load of rain to!!! Makes night watches go quickly but you have to be prepared to act quick and anticipate the squalls course, speed and handy move!!!
So there I was lying in my bunk when the familiar sound of chief engineer, Alan Canavan (allabama) came on the intercom – “Paulo, its looking real nasty in front of us, real dark and lightening!!!I think you come and have a look at this…..”
So I arrive onto deck to find Al, Joe & Wallis looking up to weather looking at a dark cloud….I felt like a doctor asking for exact symptoms to make a decision of what we should do….”okay guys so can we see it on the RADAR?” “No” Al replied, “Can we see fork lightening striking the sea?” “No” “Have we heard thunder at all?” “No”
I pondered for a moment to make an informed decision…”Okay guys, so what we are seeing is upper level lightening which is between the clouds so we just need to be prepared for the wind……don’t worry about the lightening!”
So we cracked on and shortened sail and I am glad we did cos by the time we arrived into that dark mass which was 3 hours later the wind was up to 45 kts and the rain was horizontal – complete white out!!!
Just before it hit we got a warning when the wind shifted by 60 degrees to the west and we had to spin LUSH onto a new course of due North to keep her sails full……..we had to act quickly as I knew if we could bring her back round to a course of 260 we would get through it quicker and the wind would come back to SE and we could settle in for the night…
So Dave clipped onto the outer jackstay from the inner one and made his way up to the mast to ease the preventer so we could sheet in the main to alter course – once he was back we started our engine, furled our jib and headed back to 260……Lush was now punching into the weather….35 knots of wind, 20 foot seas and so much rain that we couldn’t even see the back of the yacht!!! After an hour and a half of feeling like we were being lashed from the heavens, Lush’s big grey hull popped out the other side of the squall and the wind eased and backed round to the SE!
We reset our sails and cracked on towards Antigua! Since then its has lashed and lashed with a constant breeze from the SE of around 25 – 35 kts…no bother to the mighty yacht LUSH!
What is amazing out here is you realise how insignificant we really are compared to the elements and the big picture…….
I’m a big believer in, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
In fact all we can ever do is focus on the things we can control in our lives and change them…..for me right now that’s the trim of our sails, the course of our yacht and keeping the team happy and strong! I can’t control the weather around us right now so it would be pointless getting hung up on it!!! A great life lesson I think…we our dealt our cards but we can choose how to play them! Once we get to that point in our heads we then realise what we really can achieve in life…which in my book is
So I will leave you now as the smell of chicken curry and food is passing the chart table……and I need to eat!!!
So god bless, live with passion and remember…..one life…make sure your living it!!!
Loads of Love Paul & Team Lush :0) xxxx