Maiden is a Global Ambassador for the Empowerment of Girls through Education
Introducing our young people to Maiden was a real privilege as it has not only shown them another aspect of boating but engaged them with the Maiden message. Around half our Scouts are girls and for them equality in Scouting is business as usual.
The lead pack of 4 including Maiden are now well clear of the Doldrums, after a fairly easy passage through... although I am sure it didn’t feel like it as they sat baking hot on deck with the sails hanging from lack of wind.
Life on board will be pretty uncomfortable. Maiden is made of aluminium so it is like sailing along in a giant overheated biscuit tin. The decks will be so hot that you cant stand on them in bare feet.
The area of the Doldrums moves around making it difficult to navigate a route through the narrowest part. A great deal of patience (which I personally am not famous for!) is required to keep the boat moving through the calms.
The leaders are now well down the track towards the Cape Verde Islands. Having successfully navigated between the Canary Islands and making the most of the accelerated wind between the Islands, Maiden is making good progress in the lead pack.
As the boats enter their second week at sea, they have had their first taste of heavy weather as an Atlantic Depression brought strong winds and a difficult sea state. An injury on board Triana has meant a Medivac is being arranged. A very stressful time for the skipper and crew.
Maiden is the smallest of the lead pack. In those conditions Waterline Length means speed, so with no opportunity for tactical sailing it has been down the crew of Maiden to concentrate on the trimming and helming to hang on to the bigger boats until tactical opportunities arise. All eyes will now be on their Barometers watching for a drop in pressure heralding the arrival of an Atlantic Depression.
As we reach over the halfway point, the once frantic sound of trimming has become less frequent. Its easy to get a bit too settled into boat life and completely forget about the world outside. However, now we are in racing mode, we have to keep sight of the main goal- SPEED
After finishing up my breakfast I did some short reading on advanced sail trimming thanks to a book Skipper Heather gave me, it is concentrated and informative filled with pictures and explanations throughout - it has been a most helpful tool in improving my sail trimming.
Dehydrating food has become increasingly popular recently. It's a preservation method that involves removing moisture from food, which inactivates the enzymes that would otherwise allow bacteria and other microorganisms to grow, effectively preventing spoilage. The result is a shelf-stable product that retains most of its nutritional value, flavor, and texture. Whether planning a long hike, a sail across an ocean or just want to extend the shelf life of your groceries, dehydrating food can be a good option. In fact, there's already a thriving community of people who make their own or purchase dehydrated food for their outdoor adventures, thanks to the benefits of this preservation method. Not only is dehydrated food convenient, lightweight, and easy to store, but it's also a great way to reduce food waste and enjoy your favorite foods on the go.
It is important to note that the General Botha 'Old Boys' Fund goes above and beyond traditional bursary programs by providing an extended family-like support system. The fund is committed to empowering its beneficiaries and providing them with the necessary tools and guidance to achieve success in their academic and professional endeavors.
I grew up with lots of questions full of questions on why? why would you do this to me, why did I have to go through so much pain to become a woman? why did you give me a deception party that everybody was telling me I'm going to be a woman and to become a woman, why is it associated with so much pain! I did not understand that.
Next up was Vuyi, she was understandably nervous about standing up in front of over 100 people, but she was very brave and literally brought the house down! Her background has been so tough; she has, against the odds, succeeded and has realised her dreams. She is an inspiration to all of us and spoke from the heart, I don’t think I could have been prouder of her. She just shone.
It was tough listening to the stories and witnessing the pain that these girls are holding in, but this was the first day of class and they are in very experienced safe hands. We felt privileged to be part of the ‘past, present and future’ exercise today; when we entered the classroom we noticed all the girls were drawing handprints on a large piece of coloured paper and writing on the palms and fingers of the hand. This lesson was being done to help the students acknowledge the past, live in the present and work towards a better future.
At daylight (4:30) as the wind carried on moving forward and staying at 20-25knots, we changed the J3 jib for the smaller staysail. We are expecting the wind to gradually go down during the day. As complete change a high pressure is extending towards us and we are expecting to be motoring by tomorrow…
Today the wind has dropped to around 13 knots, still upwind, but enough to shake a reef, we now have 1 left, and we also changed back to the J3. We need the power to sail against a massive 3 meter swell coming at us. All good onboard 😊
This has been such a pleasant passage compared to some others that we have done lately. It's nearly double the length of time as our transatlantic was, but it feels like a breeze in comparison; we're not soaked every watch with rain and waves and battling upwind in 50 knots, quite the contrary, in fact.
The dolphins has been coming for a visit during night watch n during the day false killer whales came to say hi. It really been good n amazing sailing and I'm learning everyday. I am enjoying this ocean adventure!!
We are running out of fresh food with only 1 1/2 cabbages, oranges, 1 onion (slight under provision there) and tons of garlic left. Surprisingly they couldn’t find potatoes in Dakar otherwise they would have been expected on that list. This is quite normal at this stage of the trip but of course the menues have to be changed accordingly and there was a lot of chitchat about that. We also have freeze dried food which we tried last night and it was quite nice. And we have some frozen food like chicken and vegetables.
After this, we went through the courtyard and out to the area where the students grow vegetables. It’s surprisingly easy to grow in Dakar which you wouldn’t think, as it's so hot and part of the desert, but amazingly they produce a lot of food.
One of the things I love most about Maiden is the sharing of knowledge. Everyone that steps on board has something to teach and also something to learn. Whether that knowledge is to do with sailing, stars, marine animals or just random facts everything is valued and exchanged.
There is a job onboard that everybody likes and can do in these gentle conditions: helming. So every half hour, the helm changes hand without fail with the next crew member looking at her watch to claim her time of fun.
Finally on Saturday morning, the wind speed has come up to 10 knots + and at 8:00 we put the jib up and we are currently very happy to be sailing at a reasonable speed around 7 knots.
This was the second time I have been on Maiden while flying our A2. And both times it has busted. Excitingly, I got to see the pole go up to sail wing-on-wing with the JT, and now we're sailing with our symmetrical Spinnaker, the S2. Helming on Maiden can be difficult to begin with, but factor in a kite, your concentration levels need to increase.
Our guide was incredibly matter-of-fact. A lot of what we heard that day we had never heard before. We walked around the cells and saw the ‘door of no return’ where they stepped out into small rowing boats that would take them out to the ships.
To start the ceremony, 9 Senegalese girls from the charity that provides mentors for exceptional students, Shine to Lead, climbed onto the pontoon to receive the Baton of Hope from Maiden's skipper Sharon.
Now, Boat captain, that’s more my thing. This role entails looking after the boat and the crew. Our job lists when we get ashore are quite vast and most of them need completing before we go offshore again.
There's a queue of tankers waiting for the port... let's hope being small we can queue up! We are starting to dry out! It's a sunny 29° with a water temperature of 27.8. Here we come Dakar, ready or not, for a Maiden full of happy girls to be here!
When it's rough you are in a different mode for everything; safety, crew and boat. Take no chances and prepare for everything you can think of and then more!
It's a very different mode for us and we have Maiden cruising at 8 knots with a generous wind angle to help us over the swell and chop. Last night was rough and tough for some of the girls fighting with seasickness. They all battled through it and are feeling better today.
Forecast is a test! Downwind teaser to take the South option for upwind sailing to Dakar. There's 33 knots of wind and 2.5 - 3m waves on the northern side that we are avoiding this side, but the wind is from 16 - 33 knots (depending how it comes off the mountains). Waves are only 1m.
There are 93 boats here all getting ready to do the next leg in the Arc Race starting at noon today... so lots going on along the docks. We are getting Maiden all cleaned and ship shape and then some must deserved rest for Maiden and ourselves!
As driving time is such a treat Sarah has got mine today and the smile was priceless. Sarah woke to her name in lights this morning at 0400, tough ship this one don't get to sleep in on your birthday but you do get a morning and afternoon nap! It's been amazing to watch Sarah grow over the last month, 1st time away from home really and this is what I would of called jumping in the deep end! Sofia my daughter is only 4 years younger and that's a shock in itself! Kids grow up way too fast!
Now we have 700nm to Mindelo and we have covered 500nm from Santa Maria. We are hoping that we would see some of the Route du Rhum boats, racing solo across the Atlantic, but not yet. More sights today with Molly and Jenna joining Heather and I, they are getting closer which is great news.
More sun sights, jobs being completed while a rolling swell with loads of heat and water glare from the midday sun makes you add sunblock several times a day. It's only going to get hotter as we head south.
On this leg I am using the sextant as my navigation tool, it's fun and good to practice. Heather and her Yachtmaster Ocean experience is coming in handy! Hadley also has hers on board, so we can compare notes, the length of calculations procedure needs to be followed, or you are lost!
We spent most of the night in 6 foot waves and 20 knots with one reef in the main and the JT up. A few stories of our final few days on the last leg were talked about.
And sure enough, playing around Maiden was a pod of dolphins, glowing as they swam. I learned that night that dolphins like to push around the bioluminescent plankton, which makes for a magical show for sailors at night.
One particularly beautiful cluster of stars is The Pleiades, known to many as the seven sisters. The ancient Greeks say that the sisters begged for the help of Zeus after being relentlessly pursued by Orion. Zeus first turned them into pigeons and then into stars.
Maiden is giving girls like Sarah the opportunity to drive in big waves in a racing system that simply gives her hours to practice. Girls don't normally get that opportunity.
My bunk is opposite the galley, and getting up this morning I was meet with flying frozen soup and a bowl. I didn't know what to do, as letting go of my grip to catch them wasn't an option, so they just landed on the nav seat at my feet.
Everyone was well prepared for the night and everyone did their set task and more. At one point, we were hit by one of the side-buster waves and lost all our instruments, a group of display units telling us what course we are steering, the direction of the wind and also most important our speed - Ami has set a new leg record of 16.4 knots.
Immediately I was out of the steering well and steering from the side, moving so fast that I shocked Henriette, she's asking "what's wrong"?, I reply that "I was hit by a fish and it's at my feet!".
This is our last day of warm sailing, the wind is changing to the north and the temperature is about to drop 10°, so Maiden looks like a drying rack today as we take advantage of the sun and temperature.
It was so dark I couldn't see Molly, Heather and Ami on the bow, just their red head torches - they were only about 30 feet away! Sarah and Henriette were in the cockpit about 10 feet away and I couldn't make them out either, just their head torches. I was constantly counting head torches while steering down these steep waves, trying my best to keep the boat flat, everyone safe and dry.
I often get asked if we stop at night and drop the anchor. We have over 5000m depth of water at the moment – that amount of chain is certainly not possible to carry for weight and performance.
"It has been fun, it's been challenging, it's been absolutely fantastic at night with the stars out. The team is teaching me alot and I want to learn!" - From Henriette
42*22.559N, 67*57.669W, Boat speed 6.7kn, Wind speed 6.9kn, Heading 131*
I didn’t know what was going to happen but what did, through sailing, through being out in the wind and experiencing my joy, and then having the joy of bringing it to others, it enabled me to bring the story everywhere.
All 3 bridges we had to pass under had a 40’ clearance from the top of our mast, but each time they looked like we were going to hit. Sometimes you really have to trust facts over instinct!
The following day we joined in the junior sailing program by hosting STEAM workshops, before taking on the local racing fleet in the Friday night sunset racing. YES, we took Maiden racing!
We played a game of follow the leader and made a snake of boats going up the Hudson, jybing one behind the other. The sun shone and it was a perfect morning with a gentle breeze.
Everyone on every boat and yacht was cheering and it really was quite emotional watching Junella on the wheel bringing Maiden into New York.
I had forgotten how graceful Maiden felt ghosting along in calm waters with the spinnaker up!
Now, having met fellow full time crew members such as Ami, Heather and Erica on board and learning from our wonderful, patient and informative Skipper Sharon, I feel in good, no great, company.
As we travel west the sun is rising and setting later every day. Rather than change the ship’s clock halfway we are keeping Palma time for the duration of the journey. That means that now, as we approach Miami, the sun sets at midnight and rises at noon!
The iron sail is up, and, for the first time in weeks, we are making way directly to our waypoint. Ami did our fuel calculation and we have 85 hours of motoring. We only have 28 hours to the safe water mark at the entry of the Miami main channel.
I'm personally happy with our navigational decisions. It's my first Atlantic Crossing being navigator and we have sailed well in these very light trade winds. We have gained 5 days of cutting corners on our original ETA.
The Bahamas is 385.4nm away and signs of humanity are closer than ever... with more plastic rubbish floating past also fishing nets and buckets. And planes!
Clouds everywhere causing squalls, no wind and slamming sails. The shock loading is painful to everyone, I'm grinding my teeth away!
Gen Z is providing inspiration, with 45% having stopped purchasing certain brands because of ethical or sustainability concerns.
This morning's clouds have been interesting, with a great show of Cirrocumulus clouds (mackerel sky) spotted by Lucy which announces a change in the weather. Hopefully after the rain, our NE wind will arrive so we can gybe onto starboard again and head straight to our way point with good speed.
Heather, as well as Ami, have worked incredibly hard, always doing the most physical jobs and steering alot when it's the most challenging. They are our go to girls for a lot of things, and are always offering to teach and do more time on deck if needed.
Fuel mission this morning was a full team effort. Heather and Marie started by getting to the dreaded Lazarette to get the fuel cans and got 6 out. Then, Ami started refuelling while I drove downwind with reduced sail at 8-12 knots down waves. Lucy and Amailia got the remaining 8 out and then the repack began with emptied fuel cans, rubbish, crew bags, fenders, cleaning supplies, etc
Last night, Heather was teaching us about the stars and planets. I obviously need to pay more attention as I only remembered Jupiter and Saturn!
Happy Easter everyone! The Easter Bunny found Maiden, and we are eating our chocolate eggs before they melt.
Lucy, our nature spotter, saw a turtle and we have clumps of seaweed everywhere hopefully not on the keel and rudder.
Maiden never stops bringing new experiences, and of course we were putting up this new sail with a sock dropping system, when we sailed past 2 pilot whales about 10 feet away. That quickly distracted everyone!
Being a working parent away from your children is never easy. Not on anyone. The guilty gut reaching feeling when they are sick or have Covid and your not there to help them through it, or just do those everyday jobs that I have loaded into my husband and Mum.
The construction of an onion is a very similar technic to how you keep warm onboard Maiden: layers. Many, many layers. Not only do onions use the ingenious layering system, their outer layer is always rugged and almost waterproof - just like putting on your foul weather gear!
Maiden last night was cruising with a full main, A2 and moon tunes! It was great to listen to music while sailing along in the early hours of the morning. How far we have come.
It was also a great chance to get Amalia, April and Lucy doing some extra driving in the dark downwind in big swells as that's always the experience that's missing in female yachting.
I stayed on for an extra 40 minutes to enjoy the ride, as we are hooning along downwind at the upper wind limit for the kite. Very fun helming with this crew as company! Woohoooo.
The flying fish are also playing catch and poor April missed. It got her in the face! She was very relieved to have glasses on, as they were covered in fish scales!
Today was a big day as I finally had a sponge down and a change of clothes, feels and smells like heaven! ...not only for me also for those around me I am sure. No, my girls at home, don't do as I do about shower time please, do as I say!
A beautiful afternoon got a bit gummy when we tried twice to get the A2 up. First time, a small rip in the foot that we could fix with sticky back sail repair tape, the next host was a large tear along the foot. Sometimes that happens in sailing and in life, you get a setback, but, you fix it, you try again... and no the A2 definitely did not want to go up.
This light wind sailing is testing when the wind isn't in a good direction and we have to sail twice as far to make the same progress.
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 are looking at options of getting past the Canarias and it looks as though we will pass to windward of La Palma (that's still smoking for the eruption months ago) and La Gomera, as we are not racing we can motor in the wind shadow to charge the batteries while making good progress.
We left the Atlas mountain on our port side, and wind turbines on green hills alongside happy kite surfers off our starboard side. It became choppy from the current rushing into the Med from the Atlantic after that, but eventually became a longer period and more manageable swells.
What an incredible 24 hours on Maiden! We gybed 15 times through the Gibraltar Strait, we were gybing so much everyone just stayed in position! Between gybe 3 and 4 Ami recorded our new top Speed and Heather topped it again between gybe 13 and 14 of 17.6 knots down a big wave!
We have surfed safety into Port Almerimar. I was told by the Harbour master we surged in with 35 knots of wind and 2m waves - I thought they were a touch big! Funny as the waves on the first night felt bigger still.
The Maiden crew had a batten box fail in the last week of the sail. Fortunately, they had a spare on board, so join Erica and the crew as they install the new one!
Early into our sail, mother nature decided to bless us with 37 knots of winds and a rough sea; someone once told me if you’ve never been seasick you will be, it just takes the right conditions and I found this to be so true.
Christmas Day was spent at the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club where we were extremely well looked after with a huge spread of food catering for all different nationalities. As always DOSC was the place to be with their ever-helpful staff and friendly members you can’t help but feel welcomed into their family.
There are also stunning night watches, where you are graced with a blanket of stars, too many to count and find yourself mesmerised by the beauty of the sky. You can’t help but wonder how many other people around the world are thinking the same thing looking at the same twinkling lights. The shooting stars that give us a smile and let us wish for wind in the right direction, and for our boots to finally dry out.
Most of the crew were quite ill for the first couple of days. Their tenacity was impressive however as all were keen to participate in manoeuvres despite having far less gusto than normal.
Watching her glide so gracefully through the water was a sight to behold. I felt so privileged to be out there, playing my small part in this wonderful mission for equality.
Thanks to women (like Tracy) before me, I’ve been able to achieve my dream with relative ease. I’ve got a daughter of my own now, and I’m optimistic that the road to her goals will be even smoother for her.
Their corporate social commitment goes further than what a regular company will do. They emphasise that women have an essential role towards a better and more sustainable world. Logistics has always had a more male presence, but with the new digital world, more and more women are entering the industry.
Educating girls has proven to be one of the most important ways of breaking poverty cycles and is likely to have significant impacts on access to formal jobs in the longer term.
So, it began, one stream at the end of each month – approximately 20 hours of non-stop gaming split between three single days – and a message I wanted everyone to hear.
Each of my paintings has captured the fresh hope of a new day after a challenging period of darkness. They are literally – as well as metaphorically – bringing the sunshine. Each one is a talisman for a new beginning.
I want girls everywhere to treasure their education and understand just how powerful it can be. I want girls to be curious, to ask questions, to challenge the established norms in their world. I want girls to believe that they can grow up to be Tracy Edwards, or even more extraordinary.
Progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go - 130 million girls around the world do not have access to an education. But when the focus shifts to ensuring schooling is accessible, the opportunities for positive change for the entire world broaden and grow.
Education is a proved driver of reducing poverty as well as increasing life choices; so we all need to ensure that girls who make up around 50% of the population are able to access and benefit from a full education – a vital step towards the goal of eradicating world poverty
For my own part I completed my theory day skipper at night school and was able to participate in some crewing (paying events). I sailed Maiden on her delivery trip from London to Southampton in preparation for the Hong Kong Challenge. I then sailed on Creightons Naturally in the 1997 Fastnet race!
I am a conservation biologist working on plastic pollution in aquatic environments and am currently Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Exeter, UK. I have worked on multiple international projects investigating what impacts the current levels of plastics pollution are having on marine ecosystems and threatened species including marine turtles.
Now I am planning to go back, when Maiden is on her way again, to the country I love, to walk the Jordan trail which links Um Qais in the north and Aqaba in the south, with my daughter. We will take 40 days to walk the 650 kilometres passing through 52 villages on the way and we will meet Maiden when she sails into Aqaba!
I guess it was inevitable that they would try and persuade me to get on Maiden for a leg – or two! I was finally talked into it and got onto ‘Mum’s first born’ (as I call Maiden) to join legendary Skipper Wendy Tuck and the crew for the leg from Vancouver to Seattle.
Jo and I had met in Auckland about a year ago when Maiden was in New Zealand. Jo was doing the delivery on Maiden from Auckland to Honolulu and I had taken a group of Canterbury sailors up to Auckland to be part of the farewell for Maiden out of Auckland.
With such a dedicated library, the children’s comprehension and reading skills are constantly supported as they develop; this support means that not only the children benefit from the programmes, but the parents and guardians are invited to be involved.
Everyone on the Maiden had incredible responsibility with numerous positions. When racing with a team working in harmony, it is magical. Assisting with the jib takedowns and deploying the spinnaker required coordinated timing and precision team effort. The first time I went to the foredeck and performed this task was like wing walking on an airplane.
Maiden was home and Tracy Edwards was the most famous woman in Britain, her future likely to be studded in glory. The little girl who once run away – had come home – with dignity, with grace, her faith vindicated, her courage emblazoned across a thousand headlines.
Our Maiden skipper, Liz Wardley, is a remarkable tactical start wizard. She is an unbelievable salty sea dog, having sailed around the world three times. I imagine she birthed out of the womb saying, "Prepare to tack." Athletic and robust in stature yet agile and nimble up the mast like a monkey. Liz was fearless, competitive, gutsy, serious at times, yet quiet with stealthy calculated planning when she sails.
While I’m not tethered into the kitchen and my stove isn’t on a gimbal, I still noticed distinct similarities between my grocery shopping and cooking habits and that of the vast majority of sailors.
You are never too old to learn new skills. When I am near the ocean and feel the wind propel a sailboat forward, I feel free and peaceful.
Visiting Maiden was an experience I will truly cherish for the rest of my life. Much like visiting a historical site it is hard not to think of all that has been accomplished on that 58ft boat.
I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to go sailing on such a historical boat that is doing so much good around the world.
We did experience some stronger near 20kts winds today and powered down 1 reef off the main sail. Although we are more then half way through the 600 mile race we have plenty of ocean racing and sail changes to go. The crew is in good spirits and getting settled into the 4 hours watch system in which half the crew sleeps and the other half is up on deck.
"Being able to join the Maiden Crew and race in Antigua and follow in my dad’s footsteps means the world to me." - Charlotte DC
The first dip pole gybe is always exciting with a crew of 9 people who have never sailed together before. There is a lot of things that must happen simultaneously – but the crew nailed it!!
“How dare you make me do this, you would not ask a man to do so! I want you to remember my name, it is Cinde Lou Delmas and I have no respect for this request, sir!”
Aged 14, I was so excited. I shot several frames on my old Praktica L2. It had a screw mount telephoto attached and, just like today, the camera didn’t have a light meter, so I didn’t use one to judge the exposure. Afterwards, I dashed home and processed the film in my bedroom that I’d turned into a darkroom. I knew I’d captured a moment but in those days, I had no idea how to get a photograph “out there” and show it to the right people.
Halfway out the outboard sputtered and died, and I had to start paddling with my one oar to avoid a superyacht who had just put there anchor out and were trying to berth. They must have thought we were a little close as they kept putting their stern thruster on to push me away – not helping! We then accepted a tow from the harbour master and he took us to the boat and left us there – the mechanic took it all quite well but was well aware that he was now abandoned on Maiden with me, so he laughed and asked me which engine he should start with!
The Maiden crew had a great time taking part in the Keelboat Series, with Kidz At Sea and The Sint Maarten Yacht Club sailing school. Some of the young people had only been sailing for a few months, so it was fantastic to see them working so hard and developing their skills. We let the kids do everything, from steering to trimming and grinding. They soaked up all our coaching like sponges. I was coaching the trimmers and grinders and it was so darn cool to see them progress through the day!
Maiden will be back to Antigua for Christmas, but for now, she has journeyed to Sint Maartens, where the crew will stay for 5 days taking part in events and meeting young students and sailors.
And here we are 7 days later and still slogging upwind with a couple more to go. By the time we get to Antigua, it will be the best part of a month since San Diego and credit to the amazing crew of Maiden as she hasn’t given us much grief on our passage, the crew are as cheerful today as the day we set off and makes for great company.
The crew becomes close not only because we depend on each other, but through shared experience. We wake each other up, we cook for each other, we tell awful jokes in the middle of the night. We learn preferences and support each other when we’re just not feeling it.
And yes, finally we are here, in Panama, the country that changed the horizon and transformed the world map allowing us to be only 48 miles away from the Atlantic Ocean, where a year ago Maiden was starting the world tour!
I joined hoping to deepen my sailing experience, and while that has been a huge part of the trip so far, I'm realizing now that many of the lessons aboard Maiden aren't specific to sailing and I am incredibly grateful for those as well.
Since reaching the tropical latitudes it has abruptly become stiflingly hot! Occasional squalls meant a ton of sail changes. Our crew on board for this leg has meshed very well, and it’s fun to throw in all these manoeuvres as a team. We are also taking this opportunity to fine tune our crossover chart which shows us when to use which sail.
It’s funny reflecting back at the beginning, when completing the first lap— for me, getting the boat back to Malta— felt so monumental, and how as it gets closer you start to be more excited to continue on with the second lap through the Middle East and Asia than to finish the first.
In other good news, I had my first shower of the trip yesterday. We ran into a few squalls and in the midst of taking through headers, putting in and shaking out reefs I got completely soaked with rainwater.
I just watched Maidens boat log tick over to 24,251NM. This is the distance she has travelled around the world since she was re launched after her extensive refit almost a year ago to the day and set off on her epic adventure. I’ve only been a part of 370nm of that so far and am slowly learning the boat and getting to know the crew.
It is always strange when something so momentous happens on land when you are so far from it, and any form of human life or civilisation. The Albatross wheeling above your heads is not concerned by the Berlin Wall coming down. The celebrations in Europe are so far removed from us and yet we understand completely what this means for the Iron Curtain.
It took 50 hours of upwind sailing to get to Monterey, CA. As we rounded Point Conception – “the Cape Horn of the Pacific” – the wind conspired with the shape of the shore to remain right on our nose. As I hooked up the inner forestay one morning Neptune had a laugh and sent a wave over our bow which washed me back to the shrouds. Always stay clipped in, folks! I crawled back to the foredeck with soggy boots to finish the task before getting off watch.
The climate strike was a great opportunity for us to connect with a community. So often when we are offshore we feel out of touch with current events, only hearing about them sometimes weeks after they happen. The climate crisis is different. We see many if the earth’s changes firsthand. We spent the afternoon with Los Angeles locals, including some school aged kids. One of the most moving signs for me read “why should we go to school if you won’t listen to the educated.”
As female sailors, we all have experienced our challenges in the male dominated sport. I have never sailed with an all woman crew, and it is one of the most empowering things I have ever done. A few weeks ago I would've never thought I would be sailing with these incredible female sailors, and really admire their talents.
I've had time to reflect on this new and seemingly endless landscape, and I've come to a couple of realizations. What I had always imagined to be an immense and unoccupied body of water looks like just that... but only on the surface.
I took a moment to reflect on the journey that has passed: from seeing Maiden in the shipyard shed as a shell, working with the team on her restoration, watching her first touch the water, sailing the maiden voyage to London, to now having sailed all of Maiden’s 20,000 miles with her....
By using her opportunity to sail onboard Maiden, Lottie hopes to further her ocean going skills, whilst at the same time promoting the values and benefits of female education and the opportunities it can create for young girls who aspire to achieve their dreams, which hard work, study and commitment can bring.
There were two types of leis presented to the crew. The Haku leis are worn on the head and are made with tea leaves, for protection. The second leis were placed around the neck, and are made with orchids (often given to visitors to Hawaii and also given as a thank you). And it wasn’t just the crew who received leis: Maiden also was given a Haku lei, which was placed on the bow. It was a moving sight as everyone came together, took rose petals and made a wish.
For me I am happy how we prepared for a 30 knots cloud that came through after the moon went down and it became pretty black just before dawn. It made the wind decrease for a while and we were talking about taking the reef out, but we read the cloud height and colour well and were rewarded in some fast sailing in the right direction. With everyone in position trimming their sails, we felt like a race boat!
The mood onboard is peaceful, the ocean is calm and it's a clear sky with beautiful moonlight and a few dolphins. It feels so special and I feel so lucky to be aboard Maiden for this leg to Honolulu and knowing that despite some bad weather in the forecast, it's only going to get warmer and warmer as we sail North. I can't wait to get into shorts and t'shirts! (and anticipating the inevitable of what will happen to first timers crossing the equator….)
All four were inspired by the against-the-odds achievements of the original crew led by Tracy Edwards, Maiden’s skipper and founder of the Maiden Factor, who arrived back in New Zealand this week for the first time since her triumphant arrival in 1989.
n an official ceremony today, Maiden and the crew received an inspiring welcome to Sydney by Yvonne Weldon, an Aboriginal custodian of the land from the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.
"We have been pleasantly surprised by how delightful not-upwind sailing is (after 12 days of intense upwind action before arriving to Fremantle) and are grateful to be steaming along in the right direction with just over 900 nautical miles to go!"
"I am honoured to be part of the Maiden Factor Team raising money and awareness to help less fortunate women and girls be able to reach their full potential in life." - Nicola Trinder