My Atlantic loop started off well with a fantastic sail down to Plymouth. With a steady 15knots on the beam, Ariadne made a good 7-8 knots the whole way, a pretty speedy passage done in less than 24 hours. For various reasons I have not left the Uk and most likely won’t leave until early next week, where there is actually a very good weather window to get across the Biscay. Im leaving it late but because of a number of things I haven’t been able to go any earlier. But my time here in Plymouth has certainly been a productive one. Just when I think Ariadne is ready I find more little jobs to do, nothing major which is good. A few small jobs included putting bungee in all the cupboards, and various places around the boat. Having worked out how I like to have things stowed I can set up storage holders for those locations. Many more of them to come before the race.
I came to Plymouth mainly to do a photoshoot for the Secchi Disk project that I have branding for on the side of Ariadne. I was made an ambassador of the project which I am very excited about as its a fantastic project in the study of phytoplankton and how sailors and seafarers can be involved in helping gain a greater understanding of what is happening with the oceans. It is an on-going study which uses a secchi disk which is basically a white plate with a weight on it so it will sink and a tape measure attached. You lower it into the water and measure the distance when the plate disappears. Super simple, and only takes 5 minutes to do. So it takes no time at all out of your day to take a measurement. Unfortunately for me I can’t do it on the race as it uses a smart phone to upload all the data, and I can’t have a phone on the race but for my Atlantic loop this winter it will be out every day, and I can simply upload all the data when I get to the other side.
When I leave Plymouth next week I will be heading to Lisbon where I have a berth until January. I decided on Lisbon as the big stop in the loop because its close to an airport and I can get all the equipment, or repairs, facilities that I can possibly need there. A good place to do any final jobs before heading down to the Canaries and on to Antigua in early January. The date I leave the Caribbean is totally dependant on how long I have to day work there to earn enough money to come back again. Talk about sailing on a budget. Hopefully it won’t be too long, I have stocked up with lentils and tins which should last until I get back to the Uk but who knows what the Atlantic will throw at me. I have crossed it before where there was not a day where it would be decent sailing, it was a motor the whole way and another time where there was never less than 15 knots. I am hoping for the latter.