I am just sitting down to wait for my "beans and sausages" to re-hydrate for dinner - a well deserved dinner after just another mammoth day of sail changes and manovers.

The A3 is up, and currently the wind is perfect, with a reasonable calm sea. I'm pointing directly at Santa Maria - the SW most island of the Azores. The island is just 70 miles away so I will gybe before I reach it.

 A quick list of todays achievements:

The day began - fast reaching J2 with 1 reef in the main, then through a depression centre (no wind) then gybe - that means transfering the whole stack across the boat - 550 kg to be exact - then change down to J3 - fast reaching again - then the wind decreased to back up to J2, shake the reef, then hoist and deploy the A3 (gennaker). Then, we are expecting stronger winds tonight, so I hoisted my A7 (fractional gennaker) to be ready... Oh, and I dropped the storm jib, and stacked the J0 aft for the fast running tonight and tomorrow, and bailed out the forepeak that had taken a wave yesterday when I did a sail change... So, I definitely deserve dinner!! Worth eating as much as possible as I need to recover some energy for the gybe (and associated stacking!)

I sailed today in the company of Nico Troussel on Corum, just in front of me - close enough to make out his sails on the horizon. Its funny to see him again after having both taken quite different routes to get here!

Tomorrow is Tropical Storm Theta day! The storm is right in our path, with dangerous winds and seas. We will have to sail west to go around it. I dont want to take any risks right now as the Vendee Globe is very long. It will be about trying to avoid the strongest part without having to sail too many extra miles. Luckily, we will be going the right way around it, downwind.

Finally, I just want to send my encouragements to Jeremie and the Charal Team. I am devastated that this has happened and I really hope that you can get back out here. I just can't imagine what to say to help but I feel the pain.

Sam on board Initiatives-coeur