In between squalls, Team Berenice are enjoying fine wine and good food

Berenice has been sailing in quite difficult winds for a classic yacht; the typical trade winds seem to have had trouble setting this year and without the ability to run down wind, she has had to snake following a rather tortuous course. Still, an extension to one’s stay on a boat like her is hardly a sacrifice.

We are eight persons running three watches which has worked very well so far. Given the length of time at sea we are leaving fresh produce behind us all except for the wonderful Mahi Mahi that we have caught en route. Actually, we seem to be eating very well and Berenice’s wine cellar hasn’t let us down.

Last night presented us with the worst weather so far. We encountered what seemed like squalls and a front. The wind varied in strength and direction very quickly.
Berenice is surprisingly easy to sail in these conditions. She is strong and although carries a suit of four sails, they are quite straight forward to deploy and tack. That is without preventers which have become necessary in the light airs and confused swells of this trip.

The day before yesterday, saw her gliding through an oily calm Atlantic with full seven sails aloft – mizzen, mizzen stay, main, stay, jib and balloon jib. I have to be honest and admit that we furled the jib eventually. I only wish that we had been able to see her from afar.

On a more close-hauled point of sail she carves through the water with a very steady heel. This makes sunbathing and other daily chores very comfortable.

To celebrate crossing the halfway longitude, we were cordially invited by the skipper and first mate to a cocktail party on the poop deck. Needless to say, it was fancy dress and despite no poop deck everyone made an effort.

We passed within 50m of Brunetta, a Ward Evans Transatlantic Rowing Challenge boat. South African father and son, George and George Lambert-Porter started rowing from the Canaries around 20 October. Of the 12 starters 2 have already reached their destination – Barbados.

Berenice has a bathroom with a cast iron bath; the saloon is panelled Honduras mahogany; the water maker provides us with plenty of fresh water. So, all in all, travelling in this sort of style is an extraordinary experience. I shall leave you to imagine sundowners on deck with the sun setting to port, canapes to prime our appetites before a sumptuous supper served in the beautiful surroundings of yacht Berenice and the Atlantic Ocean before settling down to a film (so far – Shawshank Redemption, The Rock, Eddie Izzard, Gone In 60 Seconds, Ocean’s Eleven and tonight – Moulin Rouge) on the aft deck.