The Maiden Factor Blog

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Day 9 – Maiden Update – Sharon Ferris-Choat

Day 9

27° 05.565N
18° 09.742W
TWS 8.5
TWD 076°
COG 219°
Boat Speed 7.4 knots

We have had the A2 up today, and what a pleasure to have Maiden cruising along happy, with the crew dry and able to sleep off watch.

We have 8 of us with groups of 2 changing every 2 hours. This gives 6 crew on deck every 2 hours for sail changes and jobs like cooking, cleaning, fixing and checking systems. Our watch pairs are Erica and April, Ami and Lucy, Heather and Marie, and Amalia and myself. 

Last night at sunset we approached La Palma. We were told that the volcano was actually smoking (!) and not to pass to leeward to avoid ash all over the boat (and in our lungs). We saw a dark grey cloud over the Island which looked stunning with all the lights of the towns. These Canarias Islands are incredibly high and impressive, the dolphins in the phosphorescence made for an underwater light show to finish off the magic. 

Ami is sleeping on the A2 so we don’t put it up without her! She wants to helm with it up.

At 6 am the wind shut off completely and we were left with a dangerous flapping action of the sails and the mast in the left over confused sea state. We started the engine and dropped the sails to Maiden and our relief. We changed the watches to have 2 on deck – to not only charge Maiden’s batteries but our own! We have some very tired girls on board, with not much quality sleep from all the rocking and rolling that comes with speed records consistently being broken! 

Heather has been busy fixing the grey water and changing out the macerator. It doesn’t like vegetables – like the crew – so more care is needed to make sure lumps of food doesn’t go down the sink pipes. Our sleeping crew is just waiting and hoping for the wind to come back soon, as we continue south with a sneaky amount of west to find our trade winds.