From Dorade Captain Ben Galloway:
Yesterday I mentioned something about “Champagne sailing conditions” but since that statement, it has been anything but. We are fighting to stay in the favorable Gulf Stream, but the wind has been challenging that desired course.
David Shilton described his last watch as a sail-changing marathon, with at least four changes in three hours, not including reefing and un-reefing the main. Unfortunately that’s yacht racing sometimes, and I’m sure the next watch will be more settled. At least we hope!
At the moment, there are some storm clouds on the horizon, so we are set-up to drop the kite and go back to the J3, but we are holding on to it for as long as we can. This morning it was “all hands on deck” for one sail change, which had a couple of us running around the deck in our underwear, getting a good drenching in 30 knots of wind. At least it’s good to know that nobody onboard Dorade is going to hesitate to get things done if needed.
Due to the warm Gulf Stream water we are in, the boat is like a furnace down below, so conditions are a little sweaty to say the least, but finally the decks are dry and the hatches have been opened to allow some air below. You could almost see the heat rising out of the butterfly hatch when it opened.
Tactically speaking, it may look like we are heading the wrong way at the moment, and I’m sure there are plenty of armchair sailors wondering what we are doing, but if what I am told is correct we will have some big gains later.