It seems that as expected the rougher weather is now starting to take its toll on the boats as well as the crews. The stronger winds and waves which the crews have been witnessing over the last week or so have rarely threatened their safety, but they have impacted their dryness. Today Cockleshell Endeavour reported that things were “pretty tough…big swells and plenty coming onboard. The bracket for the oar snapped at 0100 so we fixed that with the spares.” The bracket they have broken is also called a gate by those who know the rowing lingo. It’s made of plastic and does occasionally the oar can push against the metal pin which holds the oar in place enough to distort it. This eventually can cause the gate to fail. This is why all crews carry multiple spares of almost every item onboard, especially those which are essential to their ability to continue on their journey.
A few miles to the south Atlantic Dagger are also finding the stronger and wetter conditions a challenge. Today they reported that they were “finding these larger swells and winds…making personal admin much harder as we can’t clean our clothes, but it’s helping us along well.” Indeed it is! It’s certainly easier to accept ghastly and grotty conditions when it’s making the total trip time days shorter.
These stronger conditions are due to decrease in intensity by the early part of next week but they are in no way unusual. It’s entirely expected that at these latitudes in the trade winds that the crews would experience 15-20kt of wind most of the time. This year conditions have been generally more benign than average but we expect these more forceful winds to return in the near future.