1100 miles on paper, 1400 on water. Five days of forced waiting in Madeira, three depressions, five packs of pasta, ten litres of diesel fuel, 15 hours under Tormentine. Gust Max 46 knots, max speed 16.6 knots. This journey to La Rochelle did not exactly provoke melancholy.
I was delighted to find on this occasion a JPK 1010, model on which I have happily raced several seasons, both in double and in crew. Reference boat in his category where he won everything, the plan Valer proved once again a yacht reliable and very marine, able to go very fast by navigating "on the Doors", even though it sometimes took to moderate the pace in front of a sea particularly Hard. Reverse of the medal, this remains a pure racing unit, with the exposed cockpit and the summary layouts: These nine days of sea carried out mainly against the wind proved to be particularly demanding.
On a cruise from Madeira to the Bay of Biscay, two strategies are possible. One is to rally the Portuguese coasts to Lisbon, then to carry out the patient and sometimes wearing ascent of the Iberian Peninsula in front of the Portuguese trade winds, even if they sail very close to the ground to shelter at best, and eventually Multiply stopovers to favour navigation in the second part of night and early morning when the wind calms slightly. The other option-and this is the one preferred by most navigators in the long run-aims to reach the Azores with unbridled gait in the prevailing winds of Northeast, then to do tourism in Santa Maria while waiting for the weather window guaranteeing the Back to France with a bearing.
In conveying, this road of schoolchildren is attractive, but we reduce the magnitude of the detour: We climb near the wind, starboard tack, until crossing a zone of Molles and recover the dominant West fluxes somewhere halfway between the Azores and Cape Finisterre. We still had to wait for almost a week under the grains a relative lull before sailing under mainsail and jib of broken wind, which remains one way to get quickly into the bath.
The entire crossing will be in tune, the anemometer seldom descending only under 25 knots of real wind, while after the planned transition zone the breeze persisted to remain much more north than west. Except for one night-especially fast-downwind under tangonné jib, there will rarely be slack in the wiretaps, and the life of Dahu with a boat placed on the edge has experienced little respite. With the weather only making us few gifts, my partner and I will have to give up a stopover in A Coruña that stretched our arms, to finish our journey before a new rotation to the northeast. It is not the desire to rinse and dry the wax that was missing.
Only true hitch during this invigorating and humid navigation (the JPK's descent hood is unfortunately not well sealed), the oxidation of the iPad and IPhone charging cable used for mapping as well as for the reception of Weather files. Two devices guarantee the indispensable redundancy, but when they depend on the same source of power, the Troubles count double. Thus the conveyance ended with a parsimonious management of what remained of batteries, and that the episode nourished valuable reflections for the future on what to embark as spare material (*) and on the importance of doing nothing Leave fragile hanging on a card table that does not necessarily remain dry.
(*) In the bag of a conveyor there is not necessarily a lot of outfits for dinner on the ground but a whole lot of things allowing to face the foreseeable and the unpredictable. That's why it's sometimes so cumbersome.