Day 2 with Dolphins
The morning of Day 2 was a hopeful one - our latest grib file told us that the wind would be filling in behind us this afternoon. We had the Code Zero Spinnaker up and were making way with the little wind that we had. However, by 11h30am disaster had struck - the wind we were expecting to build was dying - and fast. We were struggling to hold the Code Zero and had to re-hoist the jib. A Cape2Rio race with beating? This is not what we signed up for! Turns out all our beating training on the way down from Durban was coming in handy! In the early afternoon, the team was awoken in panic as Hearn yelled from the deck: "THERE IS A ROCK!". We all rushed up on deck only to find that Hearn's rock had fins and a tail and is more commonly known as a whale. What we have been lacking in wind, we have made up for in sea-life sightings - namely seals. There are THOUSANDS of them here! The Night Shift Log: The evening started with the most beautiful sunset that the whole team got on deck to watch. Jono and I were the first shift of the evening - 9pm to 11pm - after a tasty spaghetti bolognaise. We had very light breeze with the code zero up averaging 5 knts with a super bright moon. We are hoping for the wind to full through around midnight. 2am: Got woken up for a sail change. We are dropping the Code Zero for a jib - still no wind! We've requested a new grib file to see what is going on. 3am: Jono and I are woken up for our night shift and there is still minimal wind. Michaela - who is currently on watch - is not happy at all. The wind is super switchy and the mist is rolling in. Jono gets his hands on the helm and they both decide to put up the S4 Spinnaker as the wind direction stabilizes. All hands on deck and 'The Big Bush(a)' is flying. It is beautiful out there - the moon has set, but you can still see because of the glow of the phosphorescence in our wake and white horses on the peaks of the surrounding waves. Moral on the boat is starting to grow again - along with the wind. In the words of Michaela: "Now is the official start of the race, we are heading downwind!". Not even 15 minutes later, once everyone was back below deck, I see a large glowing shape shoot towards the boat. I yell out that there is something coming towards the boat and I get a response of "Dolphins!". Very quickly everyone is back on deck and those who managed to fall asleep are woken up. With the full crew on deck we have the sight of a lifetime. We are sailing with a pod of atleast 15 dolphins which are racing and playing alongside the boat. The part that made this so unforgettable was the phosphorescence. Each dolphin was glowing. We could see each movement they made - every tail stroke, every surf and every 'handbrake-turn' loop they did as they played around us. What a way to officially start our race! The whole team was on deck until 4am watching the dolphins until they swam on and the team gave into their exhaustion. The wind has slowly died again but we are keeping on 'Full Send' and holding out for the stronger wind coming!
- Emma Clark