Off wi’ their thermals?

Update: at 1035UT we’re in position 47’28S 40’30W and heading 340 degrees.

So it’s around 0800 and Colette’s watch (Colette, Sarah, Di and John) have just come on watch after their Sunday rest (Sunday rest is when the watch timings mean one watch gets from midnight to 0800 in their bunks). When we went off watch last night we were bowling along directly towards Uruguay at around 7 knots, but the wind was already beginning to quieten and we woke to the sound of the engine going on. We are now about 1000 miles from Punta del Este, so we’ve gone about one third of the way.

We are now all settled into the routine of an ocean passage – sleep, go on watch, cook something if it’s our turn, and then back into the bunk.  Until the last 24 hours it has been too cold to want to be anywhere else but in your sleeping bag when you are off watch, but as the weather warms progressively then more people appear around the boat for some of the time that they are off watch. Yesterday, we just about achieved our aim of ‘warmer by Wednesday’ (it was 9 degrees C…not really warm, but noticeably warmer than the previous days). Today’s aim was ‘thermals off Thursday’ and despite some pessimism yesterday, it’s looking good so far. After waking up warm in our bunks (a novel feeling) we headed up on deck to sunshine. It feels strange having one less layer on, and I keep having to check I put my lifejacket on because I feel suspiciously light! The temperature seems to be increasing by 2 degrees each day. It’s going to be hot in Uruguay!

Matilda is now back in her bunk after doing some valiant spells at the wheel. She performs best when we are going to windward but we are now off the wind again so it’s back to hand steering – usually 30 minutes per person or 15/20 minutes if it’s cold and wet.

This passage has been a bit of an endurance test so far, hard to call it enjoyable, but as it gets warmer everyone is looking forward to some sun and some easier days as we cruise into Punta del Este with the prospect of steak, mega cake (for which it is apparently famous) and warm showers, not to mention a few more Malbec moments.

John and Colette

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