Rolex Transatlantic – Day 2

May 23, 2005   

The light shifty winds over the last 24 hours mean we have only sailed 100 miles sometimes sitting at a dead stop. We are in the company of larger boats in the same position. Light conditions mean many sail changes. And sail changes on this boat, with its 100-foot mast, mean lugging sails, some weighing 200 pounds, hoisting them -- with the aid of electric winches, fortunately -- and then carefully folding and lashing down the sail replaced. Difficult and time-consuming challenge when the wind is up and the boat heeling. Right now the wind is blowing 15-20 knots and we are heeled 17 degrees, making excellent speed --over ten knots -- toward the Stream. The bigger boats that were drifting near us earlier in the day now have the wind to take off and are ahead. We are heading for a strong southerly wind that will fill in around Wednesday. This will allow us to set the spinnaker, turn north east to England and fly away at speeds that will at times exceed fifteen knots. The crew of Tempest is amazingly diverse six Americans, two Dutch, one Dane, one Swedish, one Australian, one British, two Canadians and two hybrids, one US/UK and one US/Austria. There are two women and fourteen men. When the project began, nobody knew more than three of the others. We found each other by endless phone calls, emails, and word-of-mouth recommendations. Three watches of 5 each on deck for four hours, off for four and on standby for four meaning there are 10 crew available at a time for sail changes. The navigator 'floats*, or is on duty as much as required.

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