Logbook Sept 22nd 2015

Following my Mini Transat participation in 2015 I am now publishing the logbook entries of each day – exactly one year after they were written down.

Day 4 of Leg 1, Sept 22nd 2015:

We are about to leave the Bay of Biscay and are heading towards the north-western tip of the Iberian Peninsula, the Cap Finisterre.
I remember this day vividly because I don’t think I ever did as many sail changes in one day as on this one.
From a racing perspective the day was interesting because after a day without seeing competitors, the closer we came to land now, the more competitors became visible.
While the coast looked really interesting and I told myself back then that I would come back one day to discover it with more time, I am happy that I was not forced to sail into port like some of my competitors who had to do repairs or eventually retire from the race.

Now, while reading the log book again I notice that at 4am I note that a cold front hit us and the wind and pressure both indicate that. But I had always thought the second front had hit us the day before… Oh well, maybe it was three cold fronts in the end or I just misread the weather, who knows.
In any case, this and the following day should become the trickiest in the first leg as the spanish and portugese coast seemed to want to do their bad reputation for strong winds and high seas justice.


Wind Waves Clouds Pressure Position Sails COG SOG
NW 15kn 2m 7/8 Sc 1016.6 N44°52.0 / W007°57.8 Groß + Solent 225 5.6kn

Comments from the log book:
0000: the wind is very gusty under the clouds. No AIS targets at all – does this thing work!?!?
0100: 1st reef in the main. Had a major fuckup with the winches: Renegade on the stb-winch. Trying to resolve it: Renegade on the main winch too! Well, that was 20 minutes I could spent doing something more fun. All solved now though.


Wind Waves Clouds Pressure Position Sails COG SOG
W 17-20kn 2m 8/8 ? 1016.1 N44°35.4 / W008°15.1 Groß(-) + Solent 206 6.6kn

Comments from the log book:
0300: Autopilot just crash-tacked – am now driving in AWA Mode.
0400: wind very gusty now, up to 30 kn from SW. Current sails: Main(–, i.e. 2 reefs) + Solent (-, i.e. 1 reef). Looks like another front coming through.


Wind Waves Clouds Pressure Position Sails COG SOG
NW 22kn 2.5m 7/8 ? 1016.3 N44°38.7 / W008°29.3 Groß(-) + Solent 225 6.7kn

A little video from the early hours after the rough night and before the rough day had started 🙂

Comments from the log book:
1400: just passed a mini with only reefed main and reefed Solent sailing dead east towards the coast. Nobody on deck. Tried calling on vhf but no reply. Could not read sail number due to the sun, looked like a proto.
1750: no log book entries since this morning, really: too much to do! The night was rough – had to hand-steer pretty much all the time or sail with too little sails as the gusts were so brutal. Add to that an impressive 3m swell rolling in from the west.
Started shaking out reefs after 8 am, then with the shifting wind was able to hoist the Code5, then wind shifted back: Main + Solent. Gusts and showers required some reefs, then almost no wind. Then Code0+ full Main, then Rainstorm and 30 knots: 2 reefs in the main, 1 in the solent. After 10 minutes, back to original wind, Code0 and Main, 40 minutes later the whole ordeal again, and then again. Now since about 5pm: full main and big spi and we seem to have too little sails up, the waves are rough.
Just heard Nikki and Andy on the radio but the only word I understood was “Code0”.


Wind Waves Clouds Pressure Position Sails COG SOG
N 5kn 3m 7/8 ? 1019.4 N43°19.2 / W009°28.6 Groß + Big Spi 218 5.7kn

Comments from the log book:
1800: Bungee cords on tbe bowsprit are broken (already!?), bowsprit shows tendencies to drop. Cut off the bungee from the backstays and used them to repair the ones at the bowsprit. Now I am soaking wet (should have worn the drysuit) but the bowsprit looks ok again.
Vincent just passed 200m ahead of me, sailing with the Code0 towards Spain. Jumped on deck quickly after and started changing sails, now seems to head my direction too.
1900: Wohoo, we changed our waypoint. Now aiming for the E-side of the TSS.


Wind Waves Clouds Pressure Position Sails COG SOG
N 10kn 2m 8/8 Sc 1020.4 N43°03.3 / W009°38.5 Groß + Big Spi 206 6.4kn

Comments from the log book:
The barometer seems to be having a good time these days…
2300: Ouch, while trying to sort out a dragging line, the spin-sheet hit me on the eye and forehad when the spi collapsed and then refilled. Trying to figure out whether I’m hurt using my photo camera. It’s swollen but I’m not dizzy, taking Ibuprofene, let’s see…
Victor is sailing higher than me behind me, doing one gybe after the other but catching up a lot. I should do that too but am sailing deep to get around the corner of the TSS without gybing again. Andrea Fornaro is behind me sailing the same course.
Am pretty tired but happy that soon Cap Finisterre is behind us.

Distance sailed in last 24h: 153sm

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