Transat Jacques Vabre competitors Miranda Merron and Ann Liadet aboard Open 60 Roxy are having a beast of a time in the doldrums. Here's Merron's latest report
Current fleet position8th
Current positon4 25.56′ N 26 18.36′ W
We are having a vile time in the doldrums. Yesterday late afternoon and the first half of the night was spent changing sail configuration about every 30 minutes as squall after squall attacked us. We have had a couple of cumulomonsters that have lasted for three hours with torrential rain. It really is a most unpleasant place at the moment.
In between these boiling, towering cloud masses are areas of some wind or no wind, so more sail changes. Variation in wind strength in last two hours: 2-35 knots, variation in direction: 90 degrees.
However, there is a good side to the rainfall. Our watermaker has not been working for the past few days, and we had been rationing water. Bearing in mind that we are not far from the equator, we were going to get rather thirsty. We now have many litres of rainwater (the mainsail is an efficient catchment area), and even had a shower in one squall.
The rainwater has some African dust in it, but tastes fine. Nevertheless, it is time to get out of this horrible place – allegedly only about 80 miles to go.