The Minches and Sea of Hebrides IMN:424408710 REF:658624

Stornoway is in our hearts for the hospitality and friendliness of the people we met.
A couple that had seen us coming in came down to the pontoon and offered to do our laundry “to have some fresh and dry clothes again when you leave”. “We’re happy to do your shoppings or if you need anyt kind of food, just let us know”.
The harbourmaster took al our wet foulgear and boots down to the port control office to dry. And last night when we returned from dinner (a duet of Haggis and Black Pudding on caramelised red onion followed by a cooked Lewis Lamb (from the island) and two l
arge red wines) we found a bottle of Aberlour, 10 year old Highlaand single malt Scotch Whiskey in our cockpit with a letter from John O’Conner. How sweet is that? And they all speak with that Sean Connery deep accent.

(Tsjakka, 19.9 knots! And guess what? A dolphin on starboard. And port. And starboard again.)

The Out Hebrides are a rough group of Islands in NW Scotland. If you had to paint them you’ll need every colour green you can think about. Your metal box with caran d’ache would be 1.5 meter wide only to hold the different green pencils. Rough, stones stick out of the water. Higher island, lower islands. Needles.

See if the pictures we took and the footage we shot show something of the breathtaking beauty we’re sailing trough.

Now under sail again.
Left Stornoway at 10 this morning and done 12.15 knnots average since then. Spectaculair sailing under single reefed main and Code0.
Violent showers with wind gusting up to 38 knots. And more.

Finally had to take the Code0 down in too much wind (with crew you always push harder). Sitting on the foredeck to furl the bastard in I had to take deep breaths every time La Promesse burried her nose into the next wave. Massive amounts of water came over
and made me more a diver than a sailor. Bart said after the job was done that it was spectaculair and hilareous to see me go under a couple of times and hear me shout the zero in with every pull.
We have a lot of fun. This boat is so fast in speed and acceleration. That surprises every time again. Fun! What a fun!

Heaading for Skerryvore to turn SE towards Bally Castle amd Belfast and trough the Irish Sea past Dublin to Penzance at Lands End.

Hope that we’lll have a bit of sunshine the more south we come and some higher temperatures. It’s freezing cold here. Wasn’t it supposed to be summer now?

JanKees & Bart

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The English call this a cut. When I first saw it at sunset I called it Kut. 😉


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Incredible IMN:424408710 REF:228000

Under triple reefed main and staysail we do 11 knots peaking 14.7.

All districts in NW have warnings for
SW Gale force 8, backing W and NW later increasing severe gale NW force 9 soon and increasing NW storm force 10!

Waanzinnige North Atlantic! Hopen dat de filmbeelden straks iets van dit geweld kunnn overbrengen..

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La Promesse heading for Stornoway – repairs IMN:424408710 REF:210381

We just sent this message to race committee.

Race Committee,

We just stopped racing to head for Stornoway to do mainsail repairs. Area is too large to handle in these conditions on board. We postponed at 59.03.2N 7.09.841W. Skipper and crew all fine.

JanKees & Bart

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Keep it all together IMN:424408710 REF:190089

One stitch in the main is departing seriously.
Between 2nd and 3rd reef.
We’ve just put the 3rd reef in and wait for a opportunity to do repairs.
This main has done two AZAB’s and one OSTAR, half a RBI and some daysailing. Altogether around 16000 nautical miles. Cuben Fiber which is quite strong and keeps its shape. Final diagnose after the race.

Under 3rd reef and staysail doing 7 knots.
Bit dissapointed but already with a plan for the repairs.


JK & B

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Tough get’s going IMN:424408710 REF:172401

Time out.
Headsail down and continue under double reefed main.
Slamming of the boat too violent. Apparent wind on deck between 36 and 45 kts in a rough sea.
Still doing 6 knots over ground (!) in a WNW direction to pick up westerly and NW winds sooner. Another day without progress is annoying for raceresults 😦

These conditions are a serious test for sailor and gear.
Good watertight and waterproof foulgear is a must as is a pair of real waterproof boots with good grip. We have seen some torrential rain the last couple of hours.Comfortable safety belt that hooks in and out easily.

Bart and I discussed the question ‘why are we doing this voluntarily?’ a couple of times. And the answer is that we love it. We’re always happy out here at sea, in our element. Whatever conditions. It is that passion from where the motivation comes to conti nue and everytime again leave harbour and chase the horizon.
We keep the discipline to make fresh tea every watch and make sure we eat and drink a little. And get enough rest.

All well on board. Daylight just arrived. Now we have a better view of mother nature in a grimmy mood. Someone really pissed off Neptune! Anxious to know how we are doing.

from 59.15N 6.46W with love,

JanKees & Bart

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Colour signals IMN:424408710 REF:044814

Red = port
Green = starboard
360deg White = anchor
Dark Yellow = sign of possible dehydration or too little water intake start drinking immediately!

All fine, good progress along rhumbline, Bank of Bremen 10nm WSW of us.

JanKees & Bart
o/b La Promesse

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Aansprekende straatnamen? IMN:424408710 REF:043601

Bill Barleys
George Bligh
Rosemary bank
Cape Wrath
Butt of Lewis
John O’Groats
Aird Mhor Bragar
Aird Uig

Who doesn’t know these places?

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Fantasy IMN:424408710 REF:018298

The old Furuno 207 Weatherfax is doing a wonderfull job. For those interested, I save all downloaded charts to educate a next generation sailors at home called Floris (12), Wouter (9) and little princess Alou (6 and who prefers to be a tiger!). Floris will participate in Dutch hampionship teamsailing Optimist (NED3215). Wouter sailing his ‘Wouterzooi’ under NED3086.
Alou mainly coaching the boys from the rib.

A subset of the charts we used during the race I will list on my website after the race. For those interested keep an eye on my website for two weeks after the race.
Bright clear from a steady and sound signal from Pinnenberg (D) show us the next low approaching to give us another hard job tonight and Saturday with some SW headwinds towards St Kilda.
So now, we are sailing as fast we can along the rhumbline to Sula Sgeir. The farther south the better!

With a red thin liner I emphasize the UK and Ireland (which are in fact resized to some larger ‘wattensee insel’ now that these trimarans circumnavigate the empire in only 3 days or even less, ofcourse).

On the rollercoaster La Promesse is these days it’s difficult not to, by accident, take or annexate (is that English) parts of France and Belgium around Dover. One rogue wave made me take Pas de Calais from Dunkerque to Dieppe. An area that could be of stra tegic importance if one wants to control all shipping through the Strait. How lomg would a RBI take in that case?

In my fantasy there is a Furuno weather-next. Where we draw our own weatherchart and feed that into the machine to see that only hours later the weather changes……

Close reach today is a welcome relief after beating in rough seas. Deep and sound sleep helps us charge battery beyond the bulk stage. A good tea (lapsang souchon mixed with earl grey) and coffee (for the captain) as well as a good shave and a more comforta
ble ‘sitstop’ are in the range of float charge and even feel fully charged for a while afterwards.

ARCTIC LADY on starboard. 288m (10m draft, 49m beam) tanker with destination PECEM. Huge hell orange tanks on deck good visible from a distance of 9nm.

Clear weather, few showers. Wind WNW 16-19kts. Backing W later and SW tonight. That’s gonna be another tough 36 hours of beating.

Thanks again for your attention if you’ve come to read this!

JanKees & Bart

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Island in the dark IMN:424408710 REF:953693

Been there, seen it, done it!
With who?
With Bart!
In 2006 clockwise, daylight, to win RWYC Shetlands RBI in class en 2nd overall behind Michel Kleinjans. And now anti clockwise, pitch dark (that rock must be somewhere there).
Exciting! An island in darkness is scary. It feels so close you can touch it. Although the chart says you’re 8 miles offshore. Big holes and high mountains sea.
Chicken curry and ‘borrelnootjes’ for dinner.
Socks do smell.

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