Atlantic ocean

Erimus Una: an athletic warm-up

Published on 01 february 2015 at 0h00

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“The discussions were lively on the pontoons in Gibraltar. A little, a lot of wind? A few, a lot of waves? So we left for Madeira, with a weather forecast predicting 25 knots of wind and 3 to 4 meter waves. A good average right from the start: 10 – 12 knots, a top speed of 16.5 off Tarifa; the captain was happy, as it was the boat’s record. The sea was still flat, the weather was fine, and there were lots of dolphins as we left the Mediterranean, well-known for its tantrums. In fact the third reef was quickly taken, for comfort. We covered 210 miles of the direct route in the first 24 hours. Sunday was fine - windy but manageable... Everything started on the Monday. We were dreaming of meeting Gabart or Peyron, except that... The wind got up, we felt its breath and its strength. And Aeolus had called up his friends and his mermaids. Neptune notably; the waves had become big, then became bigger, the size of small buildings. We weren’t in danger, but the moonless night, the repeated impacts on the boat of these liquid masses with phenomenal power, and the whistling of the wind (which had freshened from 35 to 45 knots with gusts of over 55) in the shrouds, didn’t contribute to a peaceful night. And it was the same on the Tuesday, all day. Cataclysmic noise and impacts, the boat at 50°, everything went flying, and above all, ...

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