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The Maiden Factor Blog

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The straightest route is not always the quickest one.


Good morning from 250 miles from the Southern Ocean.

It has been a busy night for us, having to negotiate yet another front from a low pressure. Which means the wind going up, the sea state getting worse with very high waves that through us around, squalls with rain showers and all that in a moonless dark night.

We could see it coming behind us in the evening so we took a reef in the mainsail while it was still day light. With the front also came a change of wind direction and the wind gradually came more and more forward and from sailing downwind we ended up reaching, so we took a second reef in the middle of the night to be able to maintain our course.

At daylight (4:30) as the wind carried on moving forward and staying at 20-25knots, we changed the J3 jib for the smaller staysail. We are expecting the wind to gradually go down during the day. As complete change a high pressure is extending towards us and we are expecting to be motoring by tomorrow…

You might also be wondering why we are making this course sailing further South than the direct line to Cape Town. It is because a very strong southeasterly wind is awaiting us as we near the coast of South Africa and we don’t want to be beating headwind into this and would rather approach the land at a better, more comfortable and faster wind angle.

This leg from Dakar has be showing from the start that the straightest route is not always the quickest one. All is well onboard and everyone is still in good spirit on day 23 of the trip.