Bay of Biscay Day 2 (Max’s blog)

The second day dawned, me getting up at 4AM in the morning to take over my shift from Dad. Heidi had given over here shift to Dad with a healthy five knots of speed, but during the night the wind had dropped, so Dad and then me carried on with only four knots (I think it was). Got reprimanded by Heidi later on (heh), but what should we do. 

The fog was still out, but the chances of meeting someone were even lower now. Just stick your head out every fifteen minutes or so to check for sounds and sites and then back into the warm interior of Artemis with a good book and tea. Generally you can hear big boats coming from quite a distance, as the noise their engines make can be heard over miles of water. The big risk is other sailing boats, as all of us tend to be rather quiet, but that’s a risk you take sailing. 

During one of the times I stuck my head out and did a 360° check two more of the spotted dolphins decided to come by and say hi. They left fairly soon again, though, most likely joining up with the rest of the pod we saw yesterday. Later on at about 8AM Heidi woke up and took over from me, so I went back to bed and slept properly this time. 

Sleeping out at sea is different than when you are at anchor. You tend to get shifted constantly when a wave tilts the boat, but in that sense I have a better time than the skipper and the first mate, as my bed is rather narrow, so I take a corner to sleep in. Other people moving around the boat, switching on lights to check maps, positions, speeds, winds, etc. also contribute to waking up rather frequently. No fault on the others, it’s just a rougher night to sleep. Anyways, I got a good rest the next morning and woke up in time for brunch. The rest of the day was what anyone would describe as smooth sailing. Sunshine (yay, power through solar cells), little waves (tiny actually) and the swell was with us, pushing us along a bit, too. Dad got all the bedding out of their room to get the clamminess of the previous fog out of things, Heidi sunned herself out the front and I hid under a solar panel trying to not get a sunburn (my nose looks like a lobster again). At one point just before lunch dad decided to test putting the genoa (big sail at the front) out on a pole, as this stops the sail from switching sides if you are sailing downwind, which is pretty much what we were doing. Dad and Heidi went out front to get things sorted and I spent time on the tiller making sure we stayed on the correct course. Artemis does possess a wind vane (which has been named Chiara) which is an absolute godsend in my opinion, but holding course in critical conditions just doesn’t seem to be the strong point of the device. So, me on the tiller and the other two out front we managed to get the pole up and the rest of the day was done. The wind vane did the work for the rest of the day keeping us on course and the sails didn’t collapse or do weird other stuff during the rest of the day.

Relaxing was the task for the rest of the day and to recover from the previous night shift and prepare for the next. Had something to eat for lunch (can’t remember what, if Heidi cooked it was awesome, but everything is so good that you kinda forget what you had) and dinner and then it was back to bed. The only other ship we saw during that whole day was a warship somewhere south east of us going the other way and a sailing boat heading the opposite way to France in front of the setting sun. Otherwise just the sea and us (4,8km deep, mind you).

Good night once again at 8PM.

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