HTC Atlantic Kite Challenge in volle gang
De HTC Atlantic Kite Challenge is natuurlijk in volle gang en de eerste kilometers zijn allang achter de rug. Zo langzamerhand worden ook de eerste persoonlijke verhalen van de crewmembers online gezet. Zo heeft Eric Pequeno zijn eigen ervaringen beschreven in een beknopt reisverslag. Zijn verhaal is uiteraard hieronder, in het Engels, terug te lezen.
Je kan de gehele HTC Atlantic Kite Challenge trouwens op de voet volgen via deze link. Het team zal tijdens de challenge altijd gebruik maken van GPS, zodat de laatste locaties met jullie gedeeld kunnen worden! Houd daarnaast ook even de site van Enable Passion in de gaten voor de laatste nieuwtjes en nog veel meer reisverslagen.
Eric Pequeno: “After receiving the new propellers late the night before, the team was ready at daylight to get to work on the Double A. Erik Van Vuuren’s team in Holland did an amazing job, pulling strings to get us everything we needed flown directly to us in nearly perfect timing. Many thanks again to Peter for delivering everything directly.
Erik, Max, and Ike, all got suited up, and dove in the water to install the new propellers ourselves, to ensure things got done correctly. What a relief to have everything go perfectly as planned. Upon testing the engines in both forward, and reverse, confirmed that the Double A was ready, and we could resume our crossing of the Atlantic. Its been a very efficient process to get everything accomplished, and back on our way within just 48 hours in Cape Verde. The forecast looked good for the day, and everyone was excited to get back out and do some kiting!! Leaving the harbor, the wind was blowing a steady 16-18 kts. The team had a quick briefing to discuss the status of the upcoming forecast, and the procedures for the day, and Camilla went over the VHF’s and aqua packs to keep them functioning properly.
The wind was forecasted to be 15-18 until about 5, and them steadily drop from there until around midnight when it would more than likely no longer be kitable. The next two days still do not show much wind, however our plan is to continue to head south and pick up the trade winds which should be filling in by Tuesday. Considering it would get lighter as the day went on, we decided to start off the rotation with the heavier riders, working our way to the lighter.
First out was Dennis. We rigged up a 14m as it would be perfect for the current wind conditions for the first several riders, and if things went as planned, would be the ideal size for the smaller riders later in the day. The kite launch went picture perfect as Dennis hopped out of the dinghy, and the 14m flew high in the sky. “90% of the time, it works every time” said Filippo with a laugh. As soon as Dennis got on the water, the wind picked up to a solid 20kts, building up to 30kts over the next two hours. Dennis did a great job of holding it down, although it was at its peak for that size being able to maintain control. On the helm, you could really see the intensity in the sailing crew handling the rough seas and strong winds. With the boat tossing and turning, and a kiter out on the water, the sailing team knows there is little room for error. I,
Eric was up second to kite today for the next two hour shift. I cant say enough how excited I was to get the chance to go out in some overpowered winds! The change up of the kite went smooth, and as I hopped out of the dinghy the kite yanked me up in the air and carried me slightly downwind, showing me very quickly the amount of power I was dealing with. After the first hour the wind began to decrease to 18-19kts, and was even more fun to fly the kite naturally, and play in the smoother less choppy ocean. Definitely a great first session to began the long stretch across from Cape Verde to Blue Haven.
Filippo was up next, and took over the kite for the next two hours. The wind had decreased down to 14-15 kts, but still very ridable. The transition was smooth, and Filippo got the zen like sunset session. When he returned to the boat and I asked him how his time was on the water, he replied “ it wasn’t too crazy, just one of those great meditation sessions”.
As the sun was setting, and darkness approached, Ike was up next. With a smile from ear to ear, Ike hopped in the dinghy with barely any daylight left. The wind quickly began to drop, and Ike tried everything he could to keep gaining distance for the crossing. Unfortunately after about 45 minutes, the wind fell below 8 kts, and the kite fell out of the sky. As he tried to relaunch it, the Double A sailed in his direction to the rescue. By the time we reached him it was apparent that their wasn’t enough wind to continue, so we scooped him and the kite up and back onto the boat. With a smile from ear to ear Ike said “ I felt the wind dropping but just couldn’t call it off. I had to at least once feel what it felt like to lie in the open ocean at night”.
As Sophie prepared us an amazing Chicken Curry dish for dinner, we discussed our standby plans. In hopes that the wind comes back up, Ike will be the first to be woken up. As long as the wind looks steady, the rest of the team will be all hands on deck to resume operations. Until then, we continue south chasing the incoming trades.