The Lost Art of Cruising
07 October 2022
Part of the cunning plan to make a brief stop at Ascension Island was that it would give us a better chance of a broad reach where we could sit back and relax rather than a dead run where we're always on edge waiting for the crash gybe.
Of course, the wind didn't play ball and we had a dead run pretty well right up to this morning where we are finally on a broad reach hurtling towards the lee shore that is Recife, Brazil. ETA midnight. Of course.
Having spent the last seven days, sails up and down like a â¦â¦ better not sayâ¦.. gybe to port, gybe back, code zero up, code zero down, code D up, Code D down and on it went for days on end. Work, work, work.
It all reminded me of a comment a newly recruited crew member made to two of my racing friends (and blog followers), as they sailed their new cruising boat out the Med. As the new crew member looked on at our two heroes, winches quietly goingâ¦.. click, click, click. Sheets being trimmed by the millimetre, peering up at the sails trying to get the last milli - knot out the boat, yer man looks at them and says, âKnow what youse two? You guys just don't know how to cruise.â
Having learned nothing from the tale, we've knocked ourselves out trying to optimise our mileages every day. And of course, and predictably, we are now trying to slow the boat down to give us a daylight entry to Recife.
Unfortunately, if there's a breeze, this boat just does not do slow. So, with three reefs and the Solent in just twenty knots, we're still doing over seven knots when we need to be doing five.
And so, finally, after three thousand, seven hundred and fifty miles after leaving our pals in the V&A Marina, Cape Town, (friendliest marina in the world), hardly a drop of fossil fuel burned and twenty three nights at sea, we are NEARLY THERE!
Now, where's my mankini?
Stuart & Anne
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