Doing It Tough On THE SECRETARY In The 2014 Melbourne to Vanuatu Race!


The wind has abated and the sun is shining.  Crew have begun to peel off the layers and there is finally some room in the freezer to make some ice cubes for the drinks. 

Things are starting to settle into a rhythm on THE SECRETARY as we rotate our watches and manage our work, rest and play.  It was a corker of a ride (I hit 20.7 - the best yet) until we hit the south flowing currents yesterday.  We had planned to head straight out from Gabo as ESCAPADE has done but wind angles and our cruising mentalities saw us delay the gybe until daylight so we had to take what was dished up.  Apart from a couple of patches of ferocious waves, we only relinquished some time in lost speed.

Plotting our position on the chart, I noticed we are still one day ahead of both the 2006 and 2010 races so we've plenty of time for sight seeing - "George, Lord Howe looks nice!?"  I notice ALIVE is already up there but I don't think she is considering a stopover. Not likely for us either, even though we're in the cruising group, as there is the bureaucracy of border control to consider.

The equipment is all working well with our wind generator providing us with an estimated 50% of our power until now.  We're using 18 amps per hour during the day and about 22 amps at night, mostly for the fridge and freezer but how good are they! 

The iPhone and mast antenna fell out of range last night so we are only using sailmail to communicate, other than the SatPhone for emergencies and scheduled reports.

We broke a spinnaker pole in the gybe last night (yes, only needed to do one gybe!).  Had some new rings put on the day before the race.  Just shows you need to practice with the equipment before these long races to make sure everything is right.  Considering the tailwinds we are still enjoying it was a little disappointing but we have a cunning plan and a fitter and turner on board so I'm sure it can be jury rigged somehow.

The culinary delights on board The Secretary are as good as ever.  Today we've got curry and rice with naan bread and raita for lunch and it smells divine.  Had fresh fruit, muesli and yoghurt for breakfast and polished off Nick's sausage rolls for morning tea.   What was yesterday? Corned beef and roast vegetable fritters with smashed avocado and fetta (organically smashed - it ended up under a food tub at some stage) for brunch and lasagne and salad for dinner.

Gotta go, lunch is ready.