Day 36 – Surf’s up

Progress has slowed slightly for both crews as the wind has subsided a little. This should allow for somewhat drier conditions. Not much chat from either to report!

Before the wind swung to the south an important means of covering ground at little extra expense would have been surfing. When the elements are coming from behind it’s important to make the most of it, timing the strokes so that you’re assisted by the (at times monstrous) Atlantic swell. There are a few things to attend too in order to take full advantage of this!

  • Adjusting the trim of the boat: this is how the weight is distributed fore and aft; to use this most effectively in following conditions it’s important to keep the bow lighter than the stern to avoid the stern being pushed around. This is also much safer because you avoid the risk of capsize if you’re perpendicular to the wave rather than parallel with it.
  • Pull hard whilst the boat is facing downhill and don’t waste too much energy once you have gone over the crest of the wave. This one speaks for itself; it’s not much fun trying to pull almost a ton of ocean rowing boat uphill.

This was often a source of great merriment in otherwise trying times. We once reached a top speed of 15 knots which at the time was absolutely hilarious.

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