Ben's Sail Noumea blog - Cuppa anyone?

Boating NZ reporter Ben Gladwell is blogging from V5 during the Sail Noumea ocean race.
Boating NZ reporter Ben Gladwell is blogging from V5 during the Sail Noumea ocean race.

As my 4am till 8 am watch finished, I smiled, thinking of our navigator Millsie, who accidently filled half the crew's bottles with salt water.

This discovery was made some four afters after he'd made himself a cup of tea, which tasted terrible, and led to hill feeling sick for the next few hours.

As I lay here on the foredeck, sailing along with a code zero (our biggest upwind sail) in very little wind, I think about my next hot meal which will most likely be in Noumea.

I wrote yesterday about being nervous about running short of food and an incurring the wrath of the crew as this was my responsibility before we left. Thankly (well sort of) Mike, the boat captain, has taken the heat off me well and truly. A slight oversight when checking that the gas canisters for the cooker actually fitted has led to us to having no way of heating the water to make our freeze dried food.

We have some fresh food on board so in order to preserve this we are now on half rations until Mike can come up with some kind of jury rig to make he the gas canisters fit.

Suffice to say, if he comes up with something, he'll be on cooking duty for the reminder of the trip. And in case he doesn't, at least Millsie won't have to worry about having to drink any more salt water cup's of tea.

Last night was one of the most enjoyable nights of sailing I've had in a long time. We were cruising up the coast very comfortably in between 5 and 11 knots of wind with the code zero and the genoa staysail up, holding speeds consistently 1.5 to two knots above wind speed. This morning we had a shutdown and were becalmed for a few hours but thankfully the breeze has now filled in and despite not being able to sail where we want to go, we are at least moving again, having just past the Cavilli Islands.

We have Kia Kaha in sight about one mile astern of us. We were hoping to have cleared New Zealand by about this time but are still trying to punch north as fast as we can to negotiate the high which will bring northerlies some time tomorrow.

Till then,


Boating NZ