Last night brought with it one of life’s amazing experiences. We were visited by HMS Edinburgh in the middle of the south Atlantic.
The weather has at last calmed and most people on the boat are now back to 100% health, finally. We have been seeking the wind for a couple of days now and trying to make the best direction we can with the wind we’ve got. This can become a bit frustrating after a while – especially as we are in last position again in the race. However, last night really lifted our spirits. I was lucky enough to be on watch when another Edinburgh vessel appeared on our AIS system. To begin with we thought that perhaps the AIS was playing up – what are the chances of their being 2 boats called Edinburgh within 2 miles of each other in the South Atlantic? Well, in this case a big chance. HMS Edinburgh turned on her AIS so that we could see her just as her lights appeared on our port side. It was fabulous to watch as she came closer and made radio contact with us. It was a murky damp night so to see her coming out of the gloom was something quite special. As she approached she put all her lights on and we were able to really appreciate how big she is in comparison to our tiny yacht. She dispatched a rib to come and visit us with a little package. They had clearly been following our progress as we were presented with some Dioralyte and Immodium! The little rib circled us a few times before going back to the boat. We were then treated to the equivalent of a ‘fly by’ as she sailed past the boat within 200 feet of us. You’d certainly want to know that the vessel was friendly and that the skipper knew what they were doing as a huge war boat passing at pace within 200 feet of our tiny yacht was quite a daunting site as she towered above us.
The visit gave us a real boost for the rest of the watch. As I said, one of life’s experiences I’ll never forget and another unexpected surprise in the journey of this race.