Updates from Grant

Sunday 2 February 2014

Sunday 2 February 2014. By Grant Chapman. The northern approaches to Rio de Janeiro from as far out as 50 miles were littered with massive oil rigs together with their attendant service vessels - large bakkie-like tugs with loadbeds just above sea level as they just marked time, their engines running while they seemed to wait for something to happen. We stopped counting the rigs at 50 and realised that it had been their myriad lights that we had seen during the night ... Read more

Day 26 – Thursday 30 January – The End Game

Day 26 - Thursday 30 January - the end game. By Grant Chapman. Everyone woke for their respective shifts well rested from a good night’s sleep and our feast for dinner. Sadly we had not enjoyed the wind that our GRIB files had said we would have during the night and we had made little progress. It had been another 24 hours of underperforming in fluky winds that couldn’t make up their mind as to whether to strengthen to a sailable 10 knots ... Read more

Day 26 – Thursday 30 January

Day 26 Thursday 30 January. By Grant Chapman. We had a frustrating start to the day with wind of only about 7 knots which didn’t manage to fill the spinnaker. The big bag kept on collapsing and flogging with the rocking motion of the boat in the swell. Peter and Virgil had just come on watch at 6:00am, relieving Cathleen and Grant at the helm when the starboard fishing rod came alive with the something big having taken the lure and trying its ... Read more

Day 25 – Wednesday 29 January

Day 25 - Wednesday 29 January. By Grant Chapman. Oh dear. We were back in iffy winds of no more than 10 knots for most of the day. After the elation of discovering that we had achieved 165 nautical miles in the previous 24 hours our slow speed today was a real let down. We were also all pretty exhausted from last night’s sailing as although it had been great for getting some good distance under our belts it was not conducive to ... Read more

Day 24 – Tuesday 28 January

Day 24 - Tuesday 28 January. By Grant Chapman. The weather Gods must have decided to start smiling on us because we had superb winds all day and through into the night with a steady breeze of 15 knots and gusts of no more than 20 knots. Such benign conditions allowed us to keep the spinnaker up permanently on a broad reach while we barreled along at over 8 knots of boat speed. Even the sea was working in our favour as a ... Read more

Day 23 – Monday 27 January

Day 23 - Monday 27 January. By Grant Chapman. After a morning of fairly iffy winds pushing us along at no more than 4 knots we started experiencing stronger winds come lunchtime and our speed picked up nicely to a more respectable average of 6 knots. Our daily position report confirmed what we knew already – we had only managed a woeful 121 nautical miles again so the freshening wind was a breath of fresh air for us all. As the afternoon wore on ... Read more

Day 22 – Sunday 26 January

Day 22 - Sunday 26 January. By Grant Chapman. The morning started off with promising winds but they never strengthened to more than 12knots throughout the day which proved very frustrating as we were all well aware of what speeds were required to make Rio in time and we were simply not achieving them. We would later discover that we only managed to do a total of 112 miles for the whole day which was pitifully short of our required 145 and what ... Read more

Day 21 – Saturday 25 January

Day 21 - Saturday 25 January. By Grant Chapman. The wind blew from the east for most of the morning, giving us a good start to the day with gusts up to 26 knots while we had the big bag up. We eventually took the bag down at lunch time when the wind became blustery and started coming from the north east, making the spinnaker uncontrollable, especially as we were running across the swell to maintain our position north of some less favourable ... Read more

Day 20 – Friday 24 January

Day 20 - Friday 24 January. By Grant Chapman. After a good start to the day with decent winds we started getting only 5 knots of wind again and were wondering if we were ever going to get to Rio when the wind picked up again and we managed to achieve a total of 114 nautical miles for the day, which although less than we needed was better than we expected. We continued to sail on good winds into the night and were ... Read more

Day 19 – Thursday 23 January

Day 19 - Thursday 23 January. By Grant Chapman. Frustratingly low winds again and only managed 120 miles for the day – we needed 150 miles each day and every day we dropped miles we would battle to make them up again. There was much cursing of both Poseidon and Neptune, making sure that both the Greek and Roman mythological Gods understood our sentiments. Our daily position report put us bunched together in our class so all of us had taken much the same ... Read more
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