Ervin is Swervin’ Across the Atlantic

Ervin is Swervin’ Across the Atlantic

Our own Ervin Grove, Sapling is sailing aboard 92 foot super-maxi Med Spirit across the Atlantic. His notes below are well worth reading. We have left them ‘as is’ as we feel that is more authentic.

Greetings from the north atlantic,

Here is the write up of my daily journal. for those who know me well you already know i can not spell and using a french keyboard should make it that much more interesting.

Day 1
we docked out at about 10:20 am Saturday July 7th. Watched the MOD 70s start their transat race in the harbor but by the time we reached Ambrose light they were long gone. we hqve two different groups on board for this crossing. 9 russians 7 french and 1 American. From the get go thier was a disagreement on the navigation. some people though go north which we did then ran out of breeze. After 2 to 3 hours of motoring SSE we ran into breeze. 2 different crews qnd languages for sure.
Sails: J4, J2, Code 0, A6, Code 0, Main only, Code 0
Night 1
2:30 to 4AM Lightening storm so all electronics turned off and i worked the bow the rest of the night… it was crazy

Day 2 July 8th
8am code zero up after motoring for 3 to 4 hours qnd we finally have some breeze! It was dissapointing to hear from Luka we have only made 45 miles VMG but “Se La Vi”. now we are sailing in the stream and are starting to have the crews mesh. Saw a whale that was about 30ish feet long

Night 2
Laurent is clever! one of the crew said we had to change sails because the bow was digging since we are now deep reaching in a confused 5 to 8 foot swell. Laurent looked at him. then looked at the sails. then thought for a few minutes until it was about time to change shifts and said come help me with something. at 1 am we worked for an hour and a half moving the stack which is about 3500LBS(no joke) of sails and stuff HARD to move while the boat is pitching… no complaints on sail combos since. Sailing on a thin line of breeze between two pressure systems with the spin up.
SAILS: Code 0, J4, A6

Day 3 July 9th
Still sailing the narrow lane. traded the chute for the Code 0 and are now surfing alot! Luka holds the top speed of 22.5knots. my personal best is 21.6. 19 to 18 happens regularly and 15 to 16 is expected. I have found myself in the position of bow2. not the boss up there but wouldnt want to be either. basically i run sheets and hallyards with luka and we both head up moving sails around the pointy end. glad I have the Gill with the neck and sleave gaskets. I owe Cooley a beer because he was the first to break 20 Knots.

Night 3
Two great shifts last night!!! we put a reef in the main and now the code 0 pulls the bow down into the troughs even harder… like a truck brah!! I hit 22.5knots in the pitch black darkness last night which was an unbelievable feeling. Spent alot of the time driving close to or over 20 knots. now the Primary drivers are getting tired I am getting more and more tiller time, which is good! We had a birthday for Roman which was awesome. Latcia our fearless chef made a fudge cake even though we dont have an oven onboard. I am not going to have enough dry clothes out here and am going to smell terrible by the time I get to Brest, but it doesnt matter out here. getting better at sailing the waves so the boat stays powered up under the rig.
SAILS: One reef and Code 0

Day 4
Still deep reaching in about 20 knots. Waves are growing. Sebastian hit 24.5Knots last night so that is the record to beat. we qre still on thqt narrow lane of breeze and it is shrinking. seems like the doors are shutting on us so we are working as far east as we can. tired of typing on this french keyboard plus its my turn to drive!!!! I will send another update when i am halfway