Some photos to prove that life (and work) for Dept Editor does go on aboard Adele


Here are a couple of pictures just to prove that life (and work) does go
on, even if I’m aboard a 180-footer 7000 miles from the office in the
south Atlantic. Pictures by Rick Tomlinson

Photo above
Readers might be surprised to learn that most of the time Adele is steered
by a highly sophisticated autopilot (not pictured) which is more accurate,
‘faster’ and safer then any human. However, when the conditions are right,
as they were yesterday, Andre will disconnect it and let us lose on the
helm. Boy, what a feeling!! This yacht is highly unusual in that the
autopilot can be completely disconnected from the steering system. A
Safeset coupling hydraulically disengages the Tenfjord autopilot drive
from the stock. That allows the excellent Edson manual system to take over
so that the helmsman is steering directly via a system of chain and wire
to a 1.3m wide quadrant. It’s been developed specially for Adele by
Vitters, Edson and MCM and I’ll describe it all in more detail in a later

Adele is extraordinarily well balanced. What weight there is on the helm
can be controlled by trimming the mizzen and to a lesser extent the
headsails. There is a great sense of being at one with the yacht’s
behaviour through the wheel. A tiny amount of weatherhelm keeps you in
touch and the response time is what you would normally associate with a
much smaller yacht. The rudder angle indicator confirms the balance – it
barely moves from 0 degrees.
Just steering Adele in perfect sailing conditions, fully powered up is an
absolute joy. We all had a ‘feel’ and couldn’t get the smiles off our
faces, but handed back to auto when the wake started looking a little wonky.

Photo above
There are any number of network connections throughout Adele, even a fully fledged office, but one of the most convenient is next to my bunk, which
has been to weather for the past two and a half days, and on which I sit
sideways, feet braced against the lee-cloth to pound the laptop. With
power, network, and photo transfer cables all plugged in my travelling
home office is complete. Nowadays there really is no escape!

And finally …. if you want to see some truly spectacular pictures of
Adele’s adventures in the Antarctic including some incredible shots of an
encounter with a humpback whale take a look at –
fantastic stuff! And you’ll be seeing more of Rick’s work in the May issue
of Yachting World – don’t miss it!