UPDATE FROM MIKEY
Cracking sunrise this morning after an easy nigts sailing. Since hoisting the A3 masthead furling kite a few days ago we set ourselves a wind limit to protect the tip of the rig due the the lack of support from the mainsail. Ysterday evening we hit that limit so changed to the A5 fractional but the boat felt so heavy too helm that we actually took in reef 1 to help with the balance. Much better balance but we knew we needed the breeze to stay above 20 kts for us to stay above 80% on the polars, but it hovered around the 17-18 all night with the occasional gust triggering the wind alarm for us.
Reefing is now a hard process… its has become damage limitation. To get reef 1 in we decided to sail at 70 degrees true to do it. Reason for this is that we cant afford for the kevlar string to catch on any of the rigging while the main goes up or down so thats the plus but the negative is the apparent wind goes up and takes off some more flapping film! So basically we are now reefed till further notice, probably till Doldrums at least which are about 1450 miles ahead!
Oh well at least the wind is due to pick up a few knots so we should tick off the miles just fine. Our group of 60,s are further South than us but also further East so hopefully in a few days time we should all line up in order again for the Doldrums. Wait for us guys!! Alexia and Joan have been screaming at such low angles which is amazing and Miranda and Halvard have postioned themselves well to cover attacks from both sides. With Pip and the boys on Sida we should have a fun race within a race till the end from here. We might be towards the back of the fleet but much better here than watching from the sofa at home! !From the messages from Becky back in Bangor,NI its wet, windy and cold and from Helsinki it below zero so we dont mind our prolonged stay out here due to the mainsail problems 😉
We also passed within 0.5 of a mile of a Mimi sailor so had a good chat with him and shared some precious wind info with him! Yesterday also was the first real day for flying fish so did the deck clear up before they start to cook in the morning sun and start making us smell like a trawler!
So thats it from onboard Ariel2 this morning. It,s taken ages to write this as its like trying to write and email on a rollor coaster!
Also great to see Alex and Neal on Hugo Boss are back making progress to the nerest port which isn,t upwind. Stay safe lads you´ve both done an amazing job to rescue her so far.