Brian Thompson describes what it's like to go roaring down the Equator in the 130ft Banque Populaire
Day 3.75 0600 1545N 2923W
15 degrees and 45 minutes North….quick calculation….15 times 60 miles is 900 plus 45 makes a total of 945 nautical miles to the Equator.
That’s the first major milestone after the Ushant start. Looks like we will get there in a similar time to Groupama. We had a great run till yesterday afternoon when the NW wind dropped, and we trickled along waiting for the wind to shift to the typical NE winds of this latitude.
We are now in light tradewinds of around 12- 15 knots, but the wind feels much less powerful in this tropical air. However we should have a good wind angle soon as the wind swings more towards the East. The seas are very flat so only a couple of knots more wind and we will be flying again. The forecasts are not for much more wind than this though, and at this point Groupama was going fast in strong tradewinds.
But we are not perturbed by them catching up as if it was a real race in the same weather conditions – in the big picture we are within our target to the equator, in fact remarkably similar to the timings of the routing simulations we had at the start.
It was a great run till the wind dropped, a point to point 2,100
miles in 3 days, all VMG running with several gybes in there as well.
Incredible going. My best run before that was 697 on Maiden 2, the ex Club Med, which for several years was the record, that was a great trip and a story in itself with a great mixed team including Adrienne Cahalan and Sam Davies, in fact there were more girls than boys on board.
Out here life is good, everyone has change into their tropical wear of shorts and longsleeve shirts, with maybe a jacket at night.
Normally at this point; the first dry day, the boat would be looking a bit like a Caribbean laundry with clothes attached everywhere to catch the sun, but I put away my perfectly dry thermals ready to put on in about a weeks time..3 days of constant spray, 2100 miles and not a drop, thanks Musto!
Incredible stars again and was steering towards one called Canopus tonight…and in case you are wondering how I know…I do have an app for that!
Ok, lets hope the wind exceeds the forecast today…