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Pacific Post: Blog 9- Sailing Fast & Furious

We’re now into our third week of crossing the Pacific Ocean. With just two of us on board, working in shifts to sail safely, this adventure is a real test of endurance. While we are into a rhythm and a routine of each managing on two small sleeps in 24 hours, (which equates to about six hours’ sleep a day), we’re finding energy levels are quickly lowered, especially when sleep gets interrupted, which is a common, and often unavoidable, occurrence.

As we are now in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s not just the trade winds that have picked up, but also the seas. There’s also more of a chance of a squall, so we have to be more careful with the sail set up, especially at night. Having too much sail out during a squall is not best practice as the boat could become overpowered and the sails may shred, definitely one to be avoided at all costs!

With the increased wind and waves, it’s remarkably noisy both in and outside the boat. When the waves crash into side of the hull; in our cabin it feels like a bulldozer has struck, and the whole bed shakes. It’s like being in a washing machine on a spin cycle; even with earplugs in, sleep with the noise and the motion isn’t easy.

We didn’t realise quite how much stamina would be needed for this journey, and, over the last few days, being sleep-deprived, we’ve both had to push ourselves harder to keep up the pace. It’s akin to running a marathon; and it’s probably been the most challenging couple of days we’ve had since we left Panama. We’re taking extra sleeps as and when we can and keeping strength up with lashings of Skipper’s Gingers Beer!

Still, on the plus side, the boat is sailing fast and furious at an average of 7.5kts, so our expected 30-day trip, could well be reduced by a day or two. On the basis that we can manage 166 miles a day until we arrive, then our countdown in days has just gone into single figures, whoop whoop!

In other news…We are often asked what we do with our rubbish when on a long sail. Compostable waste such as fruit and veggie peel can be thrown overboard while offshore, but other rubbish, which might usually make for a smelly bin, can be an issue.

One solution we use for containing waste while sailing is to turn wide-neck plastic bottles with tops into a bin. We fill these containers with smaller recyclable rubbish, which we rinse such as wrappers for cheese, meat, crisps, sweets, butter etc; bulkier items like milk cartons, yoghurt pots and margarine tubs are rinsed then cut into smaller pieces. It not only keeps the volume down but, most importantly, the smell contained. Simples 

One very important point though – and a shout out to Mr Twinings and Mr Typhoo to improve on their products - is that we never throw teabags into the sea, as they contain plastic.

Total miles sailed in 72 hours: 507
Dates: Sunday 29 March – Tuesday 31 March

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