Dave “Naval” Shilton, July 7
My adventure on Dorade has been a very interesting one. When it comes to the weather, we’ve have had it all; mostly strong winds with a few days of very strong stormy conditions and the occasional light breeze.
We have really pushed the boat as hard as possible. It’s incredible how strong she is. You wouldn’t believe she was built in the early 1900s by how well she’s held up for us.
We have been putting as much sail up as possible at all times, both day and night. Ben keeps saying, “More Rag Mate!!” and Mike Giles is constantly asking for all hands on deck. I haven’t counted how many sail changes we’ve done, but it’s a lot! In the beginning, it was hard constantly waking up for watches, but now I’m up in a flash. Your body just gets used to it.
I have learned so much on this trip, about the weather, currents, technical sailing and how to race Dorade offshore. One major thing is to always wear a jacket; there have been countless times that I’ve gone on deck thinking I don’t need one, only to come off watch completely drenched from yet another sneaky wave that got me. Another major thing I’ve learned it how to live and manage your stuff in a very small space that you’re sharing with a bunch of blokes.
Racing Dorade in the Transatlantic Race really feels like we are stepping back in time. However, with the few new technologies helping us, it must be a whole lot easier now than it was back then. I don’t know how they did it. They must have been some tough sailors. You get a real sense of history lying in these small bunks at night, listening to all the wood creaking, it’s a great experience.
At the moment, we have a nice strong wind pushing us along. Won’t be long now till we’re having tea with the Queen.
– Stay tuned for updated from other crew members!
Dorade is currently midway through the Atlantic Ocean, with 1,202 nautical miles between her and the finish off Plymouth, UK. To track the team, visit http://yb.tl/transatlantic2015