Day 16 (Tue 19 Jan 1330 - Wed 20 Jan 1330)
After 16 days at sea the fleet are spread across 500nm of Atlantic Ocean. Charlie Pitcher continues to lead the fleet, having extended his lead over the fleet to nearly 50nm (180nm to his nearest solo class competitor), while the crew of Karukera lead the pairs class and Vivaldi lead Mission Atlantic by 100nm in the fours.
The fleet have enjoyed good rowing conditions over the last couple of days with Easterly and North Easterly winds of up to 20 knots pushing them along. However, overnight these winds dropped to 10-15 knots, but importantly are still North Easterly. By the weekend the winds should then pick up to 20 knots.
The additional skills required to row an ocean continue to be tested as several crews make vital adjustments to continue good course and speed. Being in such a damp environment can cause havoc for all the electronics on board that are vital for communication. This often means that crews may end up rewiring equipment due to a minor failure. An example of this may been seen when a crew member leaves a hatch open allowing a wave to breach the cabin – this may well apply to a number of crews in the fleet.
Elsewhere there are several crews reporting the phenomena of ‘falling asleep at the oars’ during a night watch. Somehow, when in the depths of fatigue and tiredness the body keeps going on autopilot while the mind is asleep. At least they’re still rowing and making ground on the finish while in the land of nod.
Finally, Britannia III continue to eat up the miles to Barbados. At the end of day 16 they had 1550nm to Bridgetown, Barbados.