Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
cheers from the balcony of the RWYC. 4th in Class 3 and 5th in IRC
overall - a result that has far exceeded our expectations.
The final leg from Lowestoft proved to be one of the most mentally
challenging as a "slack pressure" system left much of the English
Channel without wind. With its many headlands and strong tides there
was plenty of opportunity to make significant gains or losses.
To complete the race is an achievement in itself. Jangada proved more
than capable with the only damage a broken shackle and some chafed
lines. And more importantly no injuries to Trevor & I, apart from a
few bruises. There were times when we deliberately backed off the
pace, surrendering a few places. But this race turned out to be a
marathon with a sprint finish in which the tortoise very nearly beat
Monday, 28 June 2010
from Start Point with foul tide building. Once again we are testing our
deep water kedging - this time in 62m depth. So far with 0.8kt of tide
flowing past along with the Jellyfish, we seem to be holding station.
Watch this space......
Richard & trevor
Sunday, 27 June 2010
stopped for a pot noodle.
At anchor in 53m of water. 10m chain + 30m warp + 100m dyneema line. Speed
throught the water 2.7kt, speed over the ground zero. But at least we are
not going East any more, unlike some of our rivals. Not looking forward to
winching it back in, but could be worse - we could be trying to row.
menacingly. Although it is lovely to be in the fortunate position to take
this photo, I suspect our Class 1 rivals are cursing the weather and
wondering just where did Jangada Too find their breeze.
Of our nearest rivals, Chris & Kim on their J105 Taika passed the lighthouse
just ahead of us, having tucked in closer to the island to take advantage of
a tidal eddy. Meanwhile Tony & Sam on Comedy of Errors are snapping at our
heels followed by Nigel & David on Fastrak VII.
Given the rating system we need to finish in Plymouth within 20 mins of
Comedy of Errors, 2 hrs 40 mins ahead of Taika and 4 hrs ahead of Fastrak
VII in order to beat each of them on handicap. Pip & Phil on the Shed
remain outside our reach, although their lead has been whittled down to
12nm. To make it into the trophies is going to be almost impossible given
the standard of the competition, but we are determined to battle it out to
the end - after all we still have a foul spring tide off Portland to contend
So off to check the weather files and prepare for the final 24 hours -
Richard & Trevor
What a race! We had a blinding first day, making great progress down the
east coast and even managed a small tussle with Streamine, until we each
opted for different routes around the new Thanet wind farm - us to the West
and Streamline tot he east. Our cunning plan was to take the Gull Stream -
a narrow and shallow gat between Ramsgate and the Goodwin Sands, pop out in
front of them. Not so cunning, with a great big wind hole waiting to trap
us off Deal - which we promptly fell in to. By the time we extracated
ourselves, Streamline had passed us. But, to our surprise,, they then
crossed the shipping lanes (nice angle, boys!) and that was the last we saw
of them. The wind was very fickle, but we managed good time along the
coast, in beautiful sunshine for the most part, all the way to Beachy Head.
with only two hours left of tide in our favour, the wind died and we were
left stranded, once again. A line trawler was our only compand - that and a
load of niggly flies that tormented us in our wallow.
Then, just as we were contemplating a kedge, a southerly wind sprang up -
first barely a zephyr, but increasing ini strength until we found ourselves
trolling merrily along in 13kt of fair breeze. It was clear this was not a
gradient wind, but a very local effect, seemingly extending from about 500m
off shore to about a km out. We literally surfed this wave of wind all the
way to Brighton.
This amazing wind took us all the way to the transoms of our rivals, so we
now find ourselves in the company of Thunder, Taika, Izara, Fastrack and
Comedy of Errors, with Rafiki and Greyhound only a little ahead. Most of
these boats are in higher IRC classes than ourselves, so this is really
excellent. By careful trimming and tactics, we've managed to work ourselves
up to second place in the group of six. But thee wind is no longer with us
and a foul tide is mounting. My next task is to prepare the anchor for
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Straits of Dover and westward to Plymouth, the wind is dying away. We
still have favourable tide for two hours but at this rate it is
marginal whether we make it round before having to drop the anchor.
In the mean time we wait with baited breath to see if our inshore
route by the Goodwin Sands has allowed us to sneak past Streamline.
Friday, 25 June 2010
we once again crossed paths with Richard House Hospice, who unfortunately
had suffered light winds in the North Sea and arrived almost out of food &
As we restarted, a Class 4 yacht Suroma was finishing. And we were somewhat
surprised when the club rib rushed out to welcome us into Lowestoft. Whilst
we would have liked to stay and enjoy the hospitality for another two days,
both Trevor and I really would like to get to Plymouth and the finish.
Tonight looks like it might be a long night as we navigate our way carefully
across the Thames Estuary with its busy shipping lanes, sand banks and wind
farms. We are sailing along nicely under spinnaker with 8kts of breeze,
good visibility, the tide under us and doing 8kts over the ground. We are
hoping that this breeze will hold up for the night so we can get to Dover
before the tide turns against us at midday tomorrow.
Richard & Trevor
we crossed the finish line on Wednesday evening we were greeted by a
club rib and escorted into the marina. The hospitality has continued
ever since, with the chef offering us a hearty platter of fish & chips
even after the kitchen had taken last orders.
Yesterday the sun shone as we enjoyed lunch "al fresco". Although we
did notice that the wine seemed to evapourate very quickly, especially
once the cork was removed.
Crossing the line at 8pm has allowed us to get two full nights sleep
and recharge our batteries. But our hearts go out to one of our
rivals, Richard House Hospice, who took the easterly route towards the
Nordic coast and are still struggling to get into Lowestoft in the
When we left Lerwick the east versus west routing was too close to
call. So we decided to sail the direct route for 24 hours before
comitting ourselves. As it transpired the high pressure ridge split
into two halves allowing a southerly wind to build up in the western
side of the North Sea.
We have managed to hold our 10th position in IRC overall (pending
arrival of Class 4 boats), despite easing off the pace in the first 24
hours out of Lerwick. As the fleet has started to spread out more, our
main rivals now are Roaring Again & Comedy of Errors both less than 4
hours ahead, and Streamline less than 3 hours behind. Streamline in
particular as we are almost within range to track them on the AIS, so
it is great to have a rival in similar conditions. Some of our other
potential rivals such as QII and Greyhound are significantly faster
boats and leave Lowestoft well ahead of us so will have quite
We are expecting light winds for the next leg with some very tough
decisions - inshore versus offshore around the many headlands of the
South Coast. Or maybe we take a more radical route and follow the
north France coast where the tides are weaker. Watch this space......
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
skies, excellent visibility all round and steady winds - dream sailing
We have just passed the first of what will be many production platforms that
stand over the seas like giant mechanical mosquitoes, sucking the lifeblood
out the earths core. But with such good visibilty we should have now
problems navigating our way around them.
More of a challenge will follow in the light of day when we have to make
critical decisions about which route to take into Lowestoft - close inshore,
mud-skipping to avoid the tide, or further offshore through the sand banks
where there is more room to manouevre. We still have time before we make
the call, so will wait and see what the wind forecast is with the morning
Monday, 21 June 2010
have cleared and we are enjoying champaign sailing. Regret none of the
bubbly stuff onboard to celebrate, but a wee tot of rum with dinner has done
wonders for moral - witness the wide grins. The high pressure has not been
too unkind to us (yet) as we seemed to glide through to calms with 4kts of
boat speed in 4 kts of wind.
The morning finds us off Aberdeen. Dawn was an unspectacular affair, as it
generally is in these latitudes and consisting of a slow transition from
twilight to a lighter hue. The grey sky is reflected by a sea of slate and
it's bitterly cold. A seal came up earlier and gave me a look that said it
all. The air is heavy and damp, but our mood is not.
Our departure from Lerwick was like all the others so far on this race - all
on our own and in the early hours. The local population was on the streets,
but not for us. Winding down from their annual summer festival, people were
making their way home after a heavy night on the town. The incongrouous
fancy dress they wore reminded me of an "extras" party from a opera -
vikings, complete with cardboard shields and Ugg boots criss-crossed with
leather, accompanied by "little maids from school" queueing for taxis in
the twilight. More like "grape and spillage" than the traditional ancient
Nordic pastime of their race.
We motored our way out, readied the sails and crossed the line at 0320.
after a little, we hoisted the kite, but after a few hours, it was clear
that the sea state was going to make it very difficult to sustain. The
autopilot was unable to cope with the fierce cross-chop that overlaid the
long rolling sea, so we decided to sacrifice a bit of boat speed for some
much-needed sleep. There never seemed enough time to catch up whilst in
port and a downwind leg provided us with the opportunity. And, we reasoned,
there was not much point rushing with the others o fall into the wind-hole
that awaited us.
So now we're both much refreshed and only about 20-30 miles behind our main
competitors who started earlier than us, with the beginning of the wind hole
in front of them. Tortoise and the hare.....
tomorrow, picking a route through the light winds looks like something of a
lottery. On the left flank heading for the Norweigan coast is Richard House
Hospice, presumably hoping to sail around the pressure system, but at the
moment well to both North and East of us. Spearheading the attack in the
centre is Pippa on The Shed, taking the direct aproach and storming up the
rhumb line and therefore the shortest course, as she had the benefit of an
earlier departure from Lerrwick. But many of our friends and rivals are
attacking the right flank. Whilst we expect to be becalmed today, the
forecast is the winds will fill in from the South allowing us to march down
the East Coast of Britain.
On Jangada we have been taking it easy today and have backed off a gear. The
storms of the past few days left a large swell which caused an awkward sea
state as the swell rouded both sides of the Shetland Islands with waves
approaching us at differet angles. So spinnaker down, Jib Top set which has
given us the breathing space for some sleep. Our arrival/departure at each
port in the small hours of the morning means we do not get the benefit of
two good nights sleep. Whilst it is inevitable that we will have slipped
back in the rankings on this leg as a result, we hope that by adopting the
"tortoise" approach we will reap the benefits later.
Sunday, 20 June 2010
The fleet is now spread out all along the east coast of Britain. 3 of the little boats have still to reach Lerwick whilst the first boat is already across the line at Lowestoft!
Saturday, 19 June 2010
proved inadequate for the autohelm mounting. Each time the helm turned
left or right the first few amps drawn from the battery merely flexed
the panel. With the broken panel removed a substantial alluminium
sheet is being put in its place. Should make the autohelm more
responsive and save fuel, not to mention more reliable so we can use
it with confidence.
Will have to get the boat reweighed for its rating certificate!
Friday, 18 June 2010
getting away from the harbour proved to be a challenge in itself. The
pilot tug was called in to pull the yachts away that had been pinned
by the already strong winds.
Fortunately for us, Jangada is tucked into a reasonably sheltered
corner, whilst tonight Trevor & I will be tucked away in a very
comfortable room at the Queens Hotel.
We are hopefull that the worst of winds will have subsided by the time
we restart on Sunday morning. But with large swells, we could be in
for a fast rollercoaster ride towards Lowestoft.
Thursday, 17 June 2010
pate. One mackeral and the other salmon. The wraps have been going down
well - quick to prepare and easy to eat, and unlike bread they don't go
mouldy. But after 7 days of ham, cheese & mayo it was a joy to have
And how appropriate given all the fishing activity going on around us on
this final approach to Shetland. There have been several exchanges over the
VHF with trawlers wanting yachts to keep clear, yachts wanting trawslers to
keep clear, and in one case a trawler wanting another to go sling his hooks
Lookign forward to some fresh seafood in Lerwick. ETA around 1am 18th June.
The morning finds us under spinnaker, working our way slowly towards Muckle
Flugga on the very northern tip of the Shetland Isles, some sixty miles
away. Our latitude - 60°N - places us only 7 degrees from the Arctic
Circle. The sail, which we managed to keep all night, in winds up to 17
knots, although not at the limit of its range, is a struggle to hold because
of the strong swell, which tips the boat, with consequent wrap or broach
always a threat. We are part of a small band of yachts, led by Class 2
boats Streamine and Greyhound, with Comedy of Errors and Velocity
Girl/Richard House Hospice snapping at our heels.
Our start time for this leg, dictated by our finish time of the previous
leg, had placed us in the mouth of Castlebay in a foul tide with no wind,
necessitating a kedge, so the boats we are now in company with had all been
some miles ahead. Rather than adopting a "follow-the-leader" approach, we
had therefore decided to go for broke and took a route way off the rhumb
line, chasing the fresher winds (hence the odd track, dear readers!). This
seems to have paid off - hence our present position.
We expect to round the north of the Shetlands sometime early tonight and
will work our way down the east coast of the Shetlands overnight and
tomorrow, hoping to get into Lerwick in the early hours of Friday morning,
just in time for the weekend's festivities!
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
like quite a close battle. The Shed is about 9 hours ahead and with her
slower rating puts her well out of our reach. But there are two other Class
3 boats within our reach - the J105 Taika ~9nm to the north of us and
Fastrack VII ~4nm also to the north. Which I think puts us 4th in Class 3.
So there is no let up for us as Trevor & I take turns to trim the sails and
keep Jangada going as fast as possible under spinnaker.
There are also a number of faster Class 2 boats around us - Richard House
Hospice, Thunder 2, Greyhound & Streamline, all of which give us time so we
should be ahead on handicap.
We are now 40nm North-West of the Butt of Lewis, with cold foggy conditions,
but still quite light even at midnight. We had to make a detour at 5:30
this morning, at the request of a pairof trawlers who asked us to clear
2.5nm to their stern. They were not on our AIS, and likewise called us up
by our position only, which indicates that they had spotted us on radar - a
good reason to be carrying our SeaMe active radar.
The penguins onboard are enjoying the colder weather that comes with these
northerly latitudes (but Trevor is not). We have reached an agreement with
"Skipper" - the scenic route to Antarctica via the Arctic circle. Just hope
he doesn't mutiny when we turn south at Muckle Flugga.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
what little wind there was finally gave up and we started to drift back
towards Castlebray on the flood tide. The anchor held first time, and so we
sat still for over an hour as the next boat motored towards the line for
their start. Eventually a knot of breeze filled in from the South so we
hoisted the spinnaker staysail and managed to get the boat going. By this
time our nearest rivals, Taika and Comedy of Errors had managed to pull away
on the last of the tide.
We have now rounded Berneray, the Southern tip of the Outer Hebrides and
with spinaker flying are enjoying a reach across to St Kilda, 70nm to the
north-west, our ETA early evening.
The weather forecast looks like it will be spinaker reaching & running all
the way to Muckle Flugga at the tip of the Shetland Islands. It will be
interesting to see how positions change as the hard upwind sailing is
replaced by light downwind sailing.
Our surprise for Leg 3 from the family, is a new crew member "Pig". "Achoo!
Think I've got flu. Got a spare bed? Achoo!". Must be swine flu - something
to keep Trevor busy.
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Saturday, 12 June 2010
It was Trevor that saw the first targets looming over the waves on our
starboard quarter. Only this time the targets were not AIS arrows on the
screen but dolphins. In twos or threes they converged on our course until
almost twenty of them were playing around our bows. With camera on hand, I
watched as they weaved from left to right under the bow, clearly enjoying
And whilst we are on the subject of company - J105 Taika is less than 5
miles ahead of us. At last the relentless wind which has blown 15kt - 25kt
for the past 2 days has eased off as forecast. And it looks like the boats
ahead have been held up as the fleet catch up behind. Although we can't
see anyone behind us on AIS, with only a 5nm range it is hard to know who is
By the end of yesterday we were both weary from the endless pounding, and
backed of the pace by keeping the jib furled and the main reefed. Whilst we
lost some speed we felt that it was important to take into consideretion our
level of fitness (or not).
But the sight of both Dolphins and Taika has raised spirits and once again
we are under full canvass and have changed to the light wind jib. Looks
like the wind will back to the south-west giving us a spinnaker run into
Thursday, 10 June 2010
fresh northly winds and accompanying waves are gives us quite a bumpy ride.
It only took one wave to soak Trevor before the spray hood went up. Doesn't
seem to have affected boat speed as we are still punching through the waves
at almost 7kts. But the effect on crew moral was enormous - hunkered down
uner the canopy we are able to stay warm and dry whilst the autohelm steers
a steady course. Winds have varied from 18kt to 27 kts, so we have put the
first reef in the mainsail. The Heavy jib with its ability to be furled and
reefed without us going on deck is much appreciated.
Latest GRIB files still predict a tack around midnight as the wind backs to
the west of north. But prediction for our arrival at Barra is 5kt of wind
for the last 10 hours will will seem frustrating after all this hard work.
Richard & Trevor
mid atlantic and low pressure over Biscay. As these systems move over
the coming days we are expecting the north easterly wind to back to
the north west. So our strategy is to pass the Skeligs and head
offshore to pick up the wind shift. Around midnight tonight we should
tack towards the northern coast of Ireland, finishing of with a direct
course to Barra, ETA Saturday evening.
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
1) a card with instruction on how to tie knots. Will come in handy at
Barra when tieing on the Fishermans anchor or if we need a shhepshank!
2) jelly beans - sugar :-)
3) fruit - prunes & appricots to keep us going ;-)
Thanks guys. Much appreciated.
overall in IRC (which excludes the multihulls or Class 40 boats).
We are very pleased with the result thus far. Only 5 hours separate
the top 20 boats so I reckon any one of them could still be in
contention for a podium finish. Our group of boats in Class 3 seems to
be particularly competitive with some very experienced crews such as
Pippa Hare and Chris Tibbs.
The RWYC website continues to frustrate, with its downtime preventing
people from following the tracker or results. Doesn't really affect us
when racing, but must be frustrating not only for main sponsor, but
also those organisations sponsoring individual boats.
Next leg starts for us at 02:30 in the morning, with a reasonably
quick journey to Barra in 10kt to 20kt northerly winds. We should be
in Barra on Saturday evening/night.
Richard & Trevor
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
sat in the cafe in Kinsale, all the better for a few hours sleep, a
shower and a hearty breakfast.
Apologies for the lack of blogs en route but comms continue to
frustrate with the email refusing to work with the GPRS booster.
We have had a good first leg. Strategy to sail slightly off the wind
and head southwest toward the new wind seemed to pay off as we were
one of the first Class 3 boats around the Scilies. It was between
Eddystone and the Scillies that we were escorted by three dolphins
playing chicken with our bow wave.
Once around the Scilies we hoisted the A3 spinnaker for a rolling
downwind ride towards Kinsale. With both wind and waves picking up we
suffered quite a few broaches, although she recovered well from each.
Until the final broach at which point the kite decided enough was
enough and tried to hang on the forestay with several turns. A tip we
had pick up on the Brian Thompson training was to gybe at let the wrap
work itself out. Eventually kite down, we settled down to get our
breath back with winds up to 25kt.
As we approached the Head of Kinsale, the wind almost died completely,
as we sat there wishing we can bought a large oar with us. But we just
managed to drift across the line on the last of the flood tide.
Only damage suffered was a spinnaker turning block - easily replaced,
thanks to a bucketfull of Harken spares onboard.
Off for a relaxing day, cleaning up and tidying sails, ready for the
party tonight. And the next leg? It looks like it will be a long hard
slog upwind to Barra in the northly winds. So we'll batten down the
hatches and prepare for a wet ride.
Richard & Trevor
Monday, 7 June 2010
on the Shetland Marina Website: http://live.adventuretracking.com/rbandi2010
based on the same data from Yellowbrick, each boat has a number
(Jangada Too is 28) and you can click on a boat name to see the track,
speed and direction. That being said, Jangada's track does seem to
have a funny double back loop in it, (GPS Error or was that the new
Skipper trying to head for the Antarctic?).
The first boats have nearly reached Kinsale and I am hoping that
Jangada will be there by the end of today.
Thanks for all your comments, its good to know that I am not alone
watching from the shore!
is a stowaway skipper on board, who thinks he is going to Antartica
with his friend Sir Admiral Waddle Flapjack. Richard & Trevor are
valiantly resisting all attempts to change course and are heading
straight for Kinsale, having sailed past the Scillies this morning.
On the home front, it is just me and the dogs, the kids went back to
school last night. Time for catching up with friends and a visit to
Next Blog should be from Kinsale with photographic evidence of the new
Sunday, 6 June 2010
sunshine, and close company with J105 Taika. Our start was ultra cautious
and once out of the harbour we started to cimb up through the rankings to
our current position. Holding out to the south in search of the new wind
from the south-west before we tack toward the Scillies.
the family - essential supplies.
1) Ultra lightweight toothbrush, pre drilled handle
2) mini hairbrush, we'll drill out the handle later,
3) chocolate, no holes,
4) cream for those lovely soft hands,
5) batteries for Trevor as I threw most of his spares off!
6) all wrapped in tissue paper - I'm sure we'll find a use for it.
already! Fuelled with excitement, I find myself awake already. The
sound of revellers passing our hotel, along with a steady flow of
traffic, is not helping me to sleep. And it is the ability to sleep at
every opportunity that will be a key factor in this endurance race.
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Atlantic is forecast to pass with its centre over Kinsale. With wind
circulating around the system, this will leave a hole in the wind at
its heart. The only question is whether we make it to Kinsale before
this passes over us and leaves us becalmed for six hours. Hopefully we
will arrive before midnight on Monday, but it may be Tuesday - watch
the fleet. The noise of drills and fibreglass repairs has been
replaced by the sound of flags gently flapping (with only a very few
exceptions). Jangada has been put to bed ready to race in the morning
- the end of nine months of preparations. At the briefing this morning
we received our "ticket to ride" a cettificate to confirm that all the
checks and hurdles successfully cleared. And so Trevor & I now head
for our beds for an early night, for tomorrow we race......
(and I don't mean shampoo), when the main pump failed. With dinner
postponed we stripped down the pump to find the offending piece of
woodchip blocking the valve. Frustrating though it was, it did reveal
that the pipes have been connected wrongly, with the filter in line
with the shower but not the main bilge pipe. Which might explain why
the French labels on the tap were the wrong way round when first
Off to dinner......
Friday, 4 June 2010
Thursday, 3 June 2010
With my family joining us for the day it was a welcome break from the
list of jobs to do. Although we did find a willing volunteer to test
the bosuns chair and check out the views from the Crows Nest.
Weather is fine and sunny at the moment but a low pressure in the
Atlantic will bring a change over the weekend. If the forecast is
correct we will have some upwind work to get us to the Scilly Isles
where we can then free off and enjoy a quick reach to Kinsale.
"Can I come down now?" - Chris
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
parasail that had gone horribly wrong and ended up in the water?
Or maybe just our final preparations for the RBI by deploying our sea
anchor. Turned out to be quite a challenge draging the sea anchor off
Plymouth, surrounded by eight warships playing chicken with us.
Complete with a fighter plane swooping in at mast tip height, in turn
playing chicken with the navy.
We survived the experience and now enjoying a cold beer in the
sunshine at the RWYC.
empty. I'm not happy! Was it Richard? Or Trevor?or maybe both. Crew
morale may be high, along with their sugar levels, but they haven't
earnt their flapjack yet. I'll be keeping a close guard in future.
Better order some extra buckets.
Sir Admiral Flapjack
- The Finish
- Start Point evades us again
- Thundering along
- And here's the proof!
- A lovely leg
- Dover Straits
- Leg 5 underway
- Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club
- Evening sun
- Tortoise and the hare...
- A game of chess?
- All along the East coast
- Leaning on the Lamp post.....
- Tugs in Lerwick
- Its a wrap
- Northern exposure
- Close Competition
- Leg 3 underway, slowly!
- A wet and bumpy ride to windward
- Leg 2 - strategy
- Fastnet to starboard
- Leg 2 surprise
- Leg 1 position update
- Deck chairs!
- The fleet dries out
- Housekeeper wanted
- Full Irish?
- Another Live Tracker
- New Skipper on Board
- Essential Supplies
- 03:00 change of watch
- Ready for the off...
- Pump it up
- The fleet gathers
- View from the Crows Nest
- Jangada lands rare jellyfish!
- Crew morals!
- ▼ June (49)