Greetings family and friends, the crew is enjoying a challenging race that started with the spectacle of nearly 400 boats gathering off Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The start maneuvering was tricky, with loads of boats cued up for their class’s gun from the race committee, all the while trying not to be swept down the Solent by the 2.7knot tidal current passing through the area. Triple Lindy had a good start and moved out quickly down the favored side of Solent (near Isle of Wight). The 16nm to the famous “Needles” lighthouse passed quite rapidly with the fleet riding the outgoing current that added between 3-4knots to boat speed. It was very busy working the boat between the shoals on each side and maintaining clear air away from all the other boats. We were pleased to see Carla, Libby, Gill, and Rafael cheering us on from a spectator boat as we zoomed down the course. Our only wish was that Don and Kathy could have been with them as well.
Once clear of the Solent, we began the tricky portion of the race, playing the tides at each “gate.” These are points along the southern coast of England where tidal streams converge, making it nearly impossible to keep forward progress if a boat gets in the area at a time of opposing current. Names like Poole Bay, Portland Bill, Start Point, The Lizard, Lands End and the Isles of Scilly were quickly inculcated into our nautical vocabulary. The winds were moderate for most of Sunday, and then dropped a bit at night. Sunday’s evening meal was Moroccan lamb stew, and that was an immediate hit.
Monday in the early afternoon was particularly trying, with all hands doing everything possible to keep some momentum on the boat in a two hour period of nearly dead calm. After putting up Sean’s favorite sail (the windseeker), we finally started some forward progress and rode light winds to the Lizard and then through the gap around the Scilly Islands and out into the Celtic Sea. Monday’s evening meal of coque au van was quite delicious, but the show stopper was Tuesday’s dinner of beef shin casserole stew.
Throughout Monday night and Tues, we have been tacking to stay on our course line to Fastnet rock, trading off optimum angles to not be slowed down by opposing current. As this note is being drafted we are approx 67nm to Fastnet and should round it by early-mid morning on Wednesday. The Celtic Sea is beautiful, and just like the English Channel, we have had a constant presence of dolphins and seabirds. As is the usual practice on Triple Lindy, both watch teams rib each other quite a bit, and spirits are high as we work together to get the most out of the boat. Sean, Jay, Rory, Pete and Rob T(RAB) are the “gunner” watch, while Joe, Rob Long, Kent, Johnny, and Patrick are the “dream” team.