The Maiden Factor Blog

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Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: The South East Trade winds

Life on the Ocean Globe Race has taken on a slower pace over the past few days as the lead boats navigate the dreaded Doldrums. Pen Duick sailed West and sneaked through a narrow band of light airs and is now back in the dominant breeze in the region: The South East Trade winds.
Maiden and Translated have been sailing within sight of each other. They are synchronised in their manoeuvres, neither boat wanting to let the other one go in a different direction and gain a possible advantage. There is nothing that focuses the mind better than sailing boat for boat. Every half knot of boat speed could make all the difference in these difficult conditions.
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. Sleeping will be difficult in the hot stuffy conditions below.
Within the next couple of days they should be clear in in good breeze, hopefully with Maiden taking the advantage.
Yesterday was my birthday and I was reminded of my 28th birthday on board Maiden. Jo made a birthday cake in a pressure cooker (we didn’t have an oven, only a 4 burner stove so ingenuity was everything!).
I was given a present of a Batman T Shirt wrapped in a T Towel parcelled up with electric tape. It remains one of my favourite presents ever. I still wear it, to be fair, mostly for decorating at home now! In the evening, the lights of the Brazilian city of Recife were shining in the distance and life felt very good indeed! – Sal