SiFi’s Blog: Salty breezes and scrambled eggs

Approaching their final destination, Concarneau, Justine and SiFi get to enjoy Atlantic breezes and the remainders of their kitchen supplies. The Portuguese coast brings on plenty of tactical decisions and opportunity to practice diverse manoeuvres. Read more about life onboard the IMOCA 60. 

It’s been good to get back into the Atlantic. The temperature is a little cooler and the sea air seems that little bit more salty. However temperatures are still very pleasant and any attempt to put on another layer has been short lived as soon as any action has been required. It has been largely upwind In the last 24 hours as we’ve worked our way around Cabo St Vincent and up the Portuguese coast but the breeze has been moderate and the sea state relatively smooth.

As we left Gibraltar further and further behind we were able to gradually shake the reefs as the wind eased. On this occasion I chose to shake the second reef solo, hopefully giving Juju a little more rest, I then found in her next watch she dutifully returned the favor to get us back to full main!

The next tactical decision ahead of us was whether to go hard into the Cabo St Vincent or stay more offshore sailing some extra distance but hold on to better breeze. With the weather models very much split around which was the faster option but with the wind direction a little more northerly than forecast we elected for the outside route. The risk of parking up under the southern Portuguese coast wasn’t desperately appealing when the alternative option was a few extra miles but reasonably fast straight forward Sailing. Memories of the parking lot under that coastline in the 2017 Volvo Ocean Race prologue made the decision that much simpler!

Once around the Cape, and the TSS which meant a bit of extra distance offshore still it was onto port for a long day of straight line sailing upwind.

After the tack we’re we’re able to enjoy our last ‘proper’ breakfast. We took some eggs onboard this trip and miraculously haven’t managed to smash them so each morning we have enjoyed fresh eggs and half of an avocado each. It’s a shame that today was the day they ran out but I think they will be featuring on future trips! I can assure you that this is much better than freeze dried or Granola and have Juju to thank for both the idea and for cooking them each morning!As much of yesterday was spent either on deck or on standby with relatively smooth seas and lack of manoeuvres required today it has meant plenty of time spent catching up on sleep! Often when I climb into my bunk it takes a while to unwind and switch off. Some music is often required to lull me into sleep or failing that the soporific effect of the voice on a podcast usually does the trick to help turn out the lights. However none of that has been required today. On each consecutive off watch I’ve climbed into the bunk and fallen straight asleep only to wake up almost 3 hours later wondering where on earth I am! Juju has reported the same phenomenon so no doubt for both us our bodies have been snatching the opportunity to catch up on sleep whether a result of the extra effort required yesterday or the cooler temperatures on board now make it that much easier to get into a deep restful sleep.

As I lie in my bunk finishing writing this we are approaching Cascais and the wind is increasing the sensation in the bunk is getting increasingly more bumpy meaning the speed is up and the foil is starting to do its thing. Any fun will be short lived though though as another tack will be coming up soon as no doubt the lights on the land are getting near.