Hello everyone! This morning I crossed the Greenwich Meridien. It is an important event as now my longitude is EAST and I will be counting it up as I go round the bottom of the world... probably about 10 to 15 degrés per day - and that means the sun will rise one hour earlier every morning!

It’s been a tricky couple of days dealing with the first low pressure system, the squally conditions and a difficult sea state I’ve been trying to work out which sail is best to use and how to get Initiatives Coeur to go fast in difficult conditions. Not sure I’ve got all the answers yet. Anyway it is frustrating seeing the group I was with sail off and the group behind catch up.... The good news is that all is good on board and I am happy to have found some friends here to help me work out how to sail faster! And the conditions are becoming much easier too!!
Have a good day!


PS:thanks to l/overs for this super warm beanie that I found as a surprise in my week 4 food pack

Samantha Davies, Inititiatives-coeur

This is it,

Today I will leap off into the unknown as I line up to make the leap South and East and towards the big bad Southern Ocean. So far the Atlantic has been familiar territory, I have raced and sailed these waters in one form or another since the age of 19, I think this was my 19th crossing of the North Atlantic, in all honesty it is hard to remember them all.

It looks like there is a nice little front of our pack to jump on the back of that will carry us some of the miles back East and South. We are all currently lining up to make the most out of this breeze, the boys now ahead and me running along behind, refusing to be left out and hanging on to their coat tails. I am nervous and excited at the same time. This is the most remote ocean in the world, it's a mystical place that people always speak of with awe, and I am going there in a 60 foot race boat on my own.

I am acutely aware that these will be the last few days of sunshine and warm weather so am trying to get as many jobs done as possible and ensure that Medallia is in the best shape possible for the weeks ahead. Yesterday I lost one of my hydrogenerators, the bottom just fell off it overnight, we are not sure why and it has been a bit of a blow. I was relying on these two pieces of kit for my primary power generation throughout the race. I had two units, one on each side of the boat for each tack. It was the hydro on the stbd side that I lost - and it looks like I will be on a port tack for the next week so would have been unable to generate power. So yesterday I had to swap the port one over - a slightly nerve wracking task leaning over the back of the boat, terrified I would drop it or damage it and then there would be done.

We are now concerned that this single unit should remain, in one piece and working so I spent much of the day yesterday messaging Joff too and fro, discussing the options, risks, a game plan going forwards. The loss of this one unit could be the first link in a sequence of events that could finish my race - no power, no race. We have to manage that risk in the best way we can. It's sobering and was definitely a blow to my morale. Today in the last of the sunshine I am going to laminate the bottom of my remaining hydrogen onto the top part. They are currently held together with long studs, which we think on the other unit may have vibrated loose and then sheared. Belt and braces is to laminate over the join between the shaft and the bottom of the leg so this cannot happen again. Joff has sent me a step by step idiots guide, all the materials I need, the sequence of events, timings, drawings. All I need to do is execute this on the back of a moving boat. It's mission critical,

I'd better do a good job.

Pip Hare, Medallia

All is going well, with quite a lot to manage in the last few days and dealing with the squalls. It must be the most wind I have seen so far last night with around 28 knots, but now things are settled around 23 now. In Theta we had strong winds, but not maybe more than what we have had last night, but the sea was really rough.

I have had a series of small issues since the start, just fiddly jobs to sort out such as the deck pieces that had not been used since being set up in the Sables d’Olonne and then a few things with the coms etc, you just need to actually be racing and using them to know there are things that need to be tuned and sorted out.

It is much nicer to sail with people around me because last time I got as far as the Cape of Good Hope and was not once in contact with anyone. There are boats that are much faster and will take off, but there are some similar to mine and it is much more fun to race against them, it makes it all more interesting. It is obviously more stressful, because you are constantly checking the boat performance and then you are watching what the others are up to. It is a race, so more fun but also more stressful!

As to sailing without the daggerboards, I am quite surprised because we are holding our ground upwind. It was hard to tell up to the point of going thought the Doldrums because we were on a more open sail plan, but now it seems to be holding. You do obviously drift a bit more, but really I have not noticed it to be that different compared or notice a big loss from being on different boats. The important thing is that we have lightened up he boat a lot.

Didac Costa, One Ocean-One Planet