Day 23: The Final Push
The time has come for my final blog post and I'll be taking you all through these last two days until about 6 hours before we finish.
No doubt you've all read about the storm and how it battered us, now I'll describe the aftermath as we set about catching up on rest and cleaning up the considerable chaos that had been left behind.
We started off the morning beating in light wind and making good progress straight for Rio. The miles were ticking over nicely as the sun came out and we immediately started moving wet clothing, mattresses, sleeping bags and pillows up on deck to dry. For the time being we were more than happy to be in light wind with calmer seas that finally made decent sleep possible. There was so much stuff on deck and pegged to the gaurd rails and the boom that the boat looked like it was a moving thrift store. As the day progressed the winds got lighter and the clothes got drier but, slowly, the patience for the slow movement started to wear thin and the competitive spirit returned.
Before long we were wishing for a bit of wind and some progress - why couldn't the storm just have spread it's wind out a bit? Unfortunately, as we have been reminded constantly over this journey, you can't control the weather and merely have to do the best with what you've got. So we settled down, fetched the Monopoly cards and passed the time...
Later that afternoon I went on deck to retrieve some, now gloriously dry clothing when I noticed something moving in the water beside the boat. I quickly called the team on deck to witness this incredible sighting - a whole school of Dorado were circling the boat. Each fish was about 1 to 1.5m long and with the sunlight reflecting off their fins, this made for a spectacular sight. The crew hung their heads over the boat, entranced by the view of these giants gliding along gently in the calm, blue water. They stayed with us for long enough that plenty of GoPro footage and photos were taken and much speculation was made about trying to catch one in light of our slightly less than comfortable food situation. In the end though, it was decided that they were much to majestic to be eaten.
As the sunset passed the breeze started to fill back in - much to my relief (the team would agree that I deal the worst with bobbing around in light wind). With the stars coming out we started to notice areas of light shining over the horizon - Oil rigs, as big as small cities standing over the water, once again the ocean started to feel a bit crowded.
The last sunrise dawned during Em and I's second watch, we now had good breeze from behind with the light air kite (Gunther) up. The morning passed quickly with everyone cleaning and organizing the boat to prep her for the delivery back - yes she's already getting setup for yet another ocean crossing. At around lunch time we swapped Gunther for The Big Bush as the wind was picking up for a Full Send into Rio.
The closest boat behind us was Haspa Hamburg aka Ze Germans, about 60 nautical miles astern, so fingers crossed for first monohull on line honors. Currently we've just passed Cabo Frio and are surfing at around 14 knots with everyone on deck enjoying the sunset. Thus, I am going to cut this blog post short and join my team up on deck. Next time we make contact - we'll be in Rio.
Cheers from a very happy team that's quite a bit closer to land than usual,
- Hamlet (Jonathan Ham)