On board sailing school

OoH Jul 9, 2014, by Jens Als Andersen in Yacht

Today's blogger was unfortunately unavailable due to seasickness, so the report comes from Jens Als Andersen, COO of Oceans of Hope and on board the vessel as watch captain.

We are en route to La Rochelle.  After some very changeable weather yesterday afternoon and during the night we are now gliding along just south of Brest doing 9+ knots (approximately 10.5 mph) on the direct course towards La Rochelle.

Yesterday started off sunny with a nice north westerly 10-12 knots (approximately 11.5-14 mph) and with lots of activity on the boat after our night in Guernsey.  We held a ‘sailing school’ on the fore deck to look at sail shapes and aerodynamics.  We also talked about trimming (adjusting) the sails and how to look for the flow and harmony between the different types (to achieve maximum speed). And in the cockpit the crew took turns taking the helm (under guidance of course!) and learnt how to hold a steady compass course as well as adjusting to the changing wind.

The wind unfortunately shifted against us so we were pointing more and more towards France rather than towards the tip of Brittany, where we were heading. Just before we had to tack away, a major shift came together with a small front, which included 20-25 knots of wind thankfully from a northerly direction so we could resume our course. This however resulted in a much larger sea and a more rugged sea state – which brings us back to the reason for today’s substitute blogger!

This morning the sky cleared and we had the most wonderful sunrise just off Ile d’ouessant. After gybing (turning) around the westernmost tip of Brittany we are now pointing south east, parallel to the French Bay of Biscay coast line in the distance.

Those suffering from seasickness last night are recuperating in their bunks and the rest are taking in the sun with the wind on our port beam quarter (left rear side of boat.)

I’m in awe of the way in which the crew are handling this trip - they have already sailed further away from their native countries than most of their fellow yachtsmen will ever do in their life time.

We currently have sailors from three nations on board - Britain, Holland and Denmark – working together helming the yacht across the Bay of Biscay.

All is well on board and the crew take the challenges in their stride.

I must end by mentioning the sublime home cooking we enjoy, because preparing food in a galley kitchen under such challenging conditions is not for the faint-hearted!

This article was written by

Jens Als Andersen

Boat manager and skipper