Crew member on GBR9793T Cheeki Rafiki
Red watch came on 2200 - 0200hrs and continued to monitor the options, hoping the wind would come behind enough for the kite to go up.
It wasn't ideal, especially in the dark, but Nick decided to have a go just before midnight, with John on the Helm and technical support to get it up ( a rare need for Nick) from Steve and Gareth.
It was worth a try and the boat surged forward. However the wind was still determined to stay as a reach and the spinny wasn't happy. After an hour the Medium heavy went back up and the kite was bagged.
Blue watch returned 0200- 0600 to find the breeze continuing to fall. Gareth took the chance to catch on more zeds having supported red watch for much of the previous shift..
The wind progressively fell to 8 knots so the light nr1 was raised. We made a tactical error here, doing this bareheaded rather than tacking to keep the boat moving. When a hitch arose delaying the raise, the boat speed collapsed.
Only 30 minutes later we were in the centre of the extensive low and started to wallow, dropping the headsail to protect it from a repeat of earlier damage.
From 0500 we were becalmed, headsail down, watching the sunrise and the sea birds as they skim over the waves at zero height, playing on the air cushions they build immediately ahead of them.
We handed over at 0600 to Red watch with the welcome hellos as first John, Steve, Nick and then, Martin emerge.
Frustration sets in, big time.
Ken Allison, Blue Watch Leader,
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