Nick Dana – Photo Credit Amory Ross
From the Team Alvimedica boat blog
The steady trades have remained steady and we’re shaving off the miles in quick order, 450 of them sailed over the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, that doesn’t include the extra miles sailed during the two hundred [and counting] s-turn/roundups we’ve had while attempting to remove Sargasso Weed from the keel, daggerboard, rudder(s), and propellers. It’s like sailing through an overgrown garden and at its worst we’re wiping out or bearing away to clear the bottom of growth every five minutes.
We can only hope the rest of the fleet is experiencing the same nagging nuisance because it is not only slow but also extremely frustrating. The s-turns are speed-stripping and as you turn down the boat rolls hard to windward (the wrong way) while you and all of your possessions end up involuntarily seated or sprawled in the bilge below; it’s like tipping a camper van on its side and watching all the little things spill from its cabinets. The G’s push you hard against whatever upwind surface you’re closest to and you likely stay there until the boat resumes its normal sailing.
Just now we’ve snagged a massive clump. At 23 knots I can hear it loudly slapping against the hull and its heavy turbulence. The noise is deafening but whoever’s driving will likely wait until we catch a few more before carving us into the ditch-device. Anytime now I’ll be on my back, camera cards, GoPros, and batteries pouring down from my work desk on top of me. It’s already happened a few times this hour. Yup—cavitation on the rudder, no steerage, here comes the wipe out & spin up…..extreme heel, abrupt flatten and the bear away, soon on my back………… Annnnd we’re done, I can reach the keyboard again.
But I can still hear it. It’s still there.
Amory Ross – Team Alvimedica Onboard Reporter