Posted by: asolare | 28/11/2009

Asolare Ship’s Log 7 – Friday 27 Nov – Aerobic Fitness in the Atlantic!

195nm covered in 24hours. Average speed (An astonishing) 8.125 Knots
Position at 1200UTC 28 Nov 09 was 19.08N 30.41W

The ARC 2009 Virtual Fitness-on-Board Aerobics Class: The highlight of Friday had to be the ARC 2009 ‘Fitness-on-board’ virtual aerobics class lead by Sallyanne on ASOLARE via SSB Radio Channel ARC4C.  Following a quick radio and music sound  check with yacht ‘BLOND MOMENT’ and a 5 min warning for participating yachts – crews across the fleet were poised expectantly whilst listening to the uplifting and happy tune ‘One Day Like This’ (by Elbow).  The virtual class commenced with a warm up to the motivating and spirit-lifting song ‘Jai Ho!’ (from Slumdog Millionaire) and concentrated on mobilisation of neck, shoulders, arms and legs.  A swift song change taken from the same album – ‘Aaj Ki Raat’ slowed the tempo slightly allowing crew members across the fleet to stretch each limb in turn following the guidance sheet provided in Las Palmas.  Now it was time for the Aerobic fitness with work-out ‘bravo – Combat-body-pump’ conducted to the classic 1990’s work out tune ‘Born Slippy (- or otherwise known as the ‘lager lager lager lager lager song’). Combat body pump consisted of marching on the spot, pumping of the arms, leg extensions, knee raises, leg lunges, squats, step ups and high kicks!  The warm down was most welcome and accompanied by the lovely relaxing tune ‘Poppiholla by Chicane. It has to be noted that the difficulty of completing some of the manoeuvres at sea could well put this aerobic session into the category of extreme sport!  Completing the session whilst also trying to hold a balance on a boat that is rocking and rolling in the middle of the Atlantic must have caused many crews some hilarity.  It certainly did on ASOLARE since doing all of this whilst trying to broadcast on the SSB proved quite a challenge and very tiring and had the rest of the crew grinning from ear to ear.  But team ASOLARE worked well together to achieve the aim. Mark was assigned to ‘Sound Engineer’ responsible for switching tunes and carrying out the actions so as to provide visual feedback to Sallyanne that her vocal instructions were making sense!  Clare was assigned Chief video and camera-woman to capture the action – although threats of future U-Tube uploads have already taken place!  The Skipper, ably assisted by Stephen, agreed to take care of the yacht – keeping her as stable as possible throughout the duration of the class.  (This initial offer proved only to serve as their excuse not to be overly involved in the class – however the yacht took her revenge on both of them – the Gennaker tack line that was being adjusted to minimise chaffing made a bid for freedom and both Peter and Stephen had an intense workout of their own to de-power the sail and secure the tack!

Food: For lunch we made a delicious pasta sauce from the remains of the fourth Dorado (Mahi mahi) with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, pesto and spicy salsa.  Dinner was as planned – Skipper’s Friday Steak-night with mash potatoes and salad – followed by some iced buns that skipper claimed to have rustled up earlier in the day! (They looked remarkably similar to Mr Kiplings iced Bakewell tarts) We all offered appropriate praise to the skipper and resisted temptation to look for the box in the garbage!

Sailing: Sailing has been quite sporting over the last 24hours as we learn the sailing characteristics of our new Gennaker 2 flown to port with a wind angle of 150-120 degrees.  We are also flying the Amel mini Ballooner from the mizzen.  The wind speed has remained a fairly constant back-ground of 18-19knots with occasional gusts of 21-22knots.  At 22knots from 120 degrees with a rogue wave we learnt that the yacht Auto helm can run out of adequate reaction and the yacht rapidly takes a roll to starboard and attempts to accelerate hard into wind putting the sails at beam reach and healing hard and threatening to broach.  The first time this happened the Skipper was sat at the helm and caught her in time to disengage auto pilot and steer her back out of trouble.  The sails were re-balanced and all crew briefed accordingly.  Two more attempts had Mark swiftly at the helm and steering ASOLARE out of danger to good effect. However, with the Skipper and Mark being our 2 most experienced crew, all on board had a renewed respect for this otherwise fast yet docile sail. Normally a night-watch consists of each crew member being single handed for a few hours each – but not last night!  With the moon below the horizon and a cloudy dark sky, no one wanted to be on their own on watch in case the odd large rogue wave stealthily attacked the yacht at the same time as a healthy gust of wind!  At one point 4 of the 5 crew sat together on deck enjoying the excitement and fear together! The Skipper had total faith in the crew and slept soundly in his cabin.

195nm covered in the last 24hours with an astonishing average speed of 8.125knots the crew on ASOLARE are very happy and content with current progress. If this continues we could well arrive in St Lucia a few days earlier than predicted!

By Sallyanne – and Crew Peter, Mark, Clare and Stephen.

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