Exercise Transglobe 15/16: Week 2 Leg 3

Ex TRANSGLOBE is a multi-leg, round the world, adventurous sail training event taking place from July 2015 to August 2016. Private Ashley Cooper

The exercise is organised by the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre and will involve two 72-foot Challenger 72 yachts completing a circumnavigation of the globe in 13 legs that will include multiple ocean crossings and participation in the prestigious Sydney to Hobart race.

The British Army has been allocated one of the 2 yachts for the duration of the exercise and will crew all the legs with a variety of serving Regular and Reserve personnel from across all cap badges.

Private Ashley (Ash) Cooper, from 2 PWRR based in Cyprus, is crewing the third leg of the exercise.  Ash is 18 at the moment and will be celebrating his 19th birthday mid Atlantic. Find out how he’s been getting on.

Day 8 – Thursday 1st October

I think its now safe to say our luck with the weather has finally run out now with rain pouring down all day and the wind not doing what we want it to do.  Concurrent to that the sea state was throwing the boat around like a rubber duck in a water rapids ride!  However yet again the best meal is broken, which seems to be a daily occurrence with this crew.  Despite the weather there are silver linings… like White Watch’s team film viewing on the four hours off before the routine soaking from the South Atlantic’s weather.  It’s safe to say that after today there won’t be much complaining about the heat again (if it ever comes back!!)

Day 9 – Friday 2nd October

As we sail through the eye of a storm on yet another night with oddly nil ambient light, it shows how the weather changes rapidly, with little or no warning at sea.  It’s odd because bar yesterdays rain and wind, most days have been bright and sunny and up until recently the moon gave off so much ambient light that it was almost as bright as day, only adding to the beautiful night sky almost mirrored in the vast ocean around our speck of a boat in comparison.  Today consisted of another day of sailing as fast as possible to potentially get into Cape Town a day early (providing we average above 7 knots daily) and with us being almost at the half way point of this epic venture, it’s a welcome thought, especially after White watch’s home like cooking of a sausage casserole to warm up crew mates that have come off the deck that was more like a scene of a ship prior to sinking!

Day 10 – Saturday 3rd October

As the sun sets on another day in the Atlantic, we are grateful for the good weather we have all hoped for after yesterday and last nights strong winds which although couldn’t be felt by those on mother watch, could definitely be felt and endured by those on deck!  And with us now over half way, I think all the crew are relived that that spell of weather is over.  Today we have found out from various crew family members back in the UK, tracking the two boats, that we are ahead of the RAF/Navy boat “Adventure” by just over 30 nautical miles!  Considering that we were 60 miles behind them only a few days ago just shows how hard the Army crew is grafting to get to Cape town before the other boat!

Ex TG Leg 3 - Sailing on DiscoDay 11 – Sunday4th October

Another overcast day in the Atlantic unfortunately, although some good sailing conditions being produced as the day rolled on to the evening and night as a sliver lining.  Spirits are still high as we approach South Africa more and more by the day, especially now we are past the half way mark and are still as always, leaving the RAF and Navy in our dust (or in this case spray!), by about 35 miles tonight which I’m sure will increase in the coming days!  Morale aboard is still maintained by plenty of brews being belt fed to those on deck and fresh bread being baked daily. Little things like that can keep crew members happy in this massive ocean.

Day 14 – Wednesday 7th October

After a few days of rough seas and strong winds and the mother watch and off watch feeling like the numbered balls being selected for the national lottery, it was refreshing to have a few hours of sunlight and relatively flat seas!  Even better when it holds out well into the night… Granted the sunlight didn’t last that long, but that’s neither here nor there.  With a 65 mile lead on the RN/RAF boat and counting, the marina in Cape Town has never looked so good, especially when at the rate we are going we are going to make it in four days!  Which is music to sea salt ridden ears!  We can only hope that the weather holds for the remainder of the trip.  As much as we all wanted to experience what the South Atlantic could throw at us, we are at the stage of wanting to get our boots back on solid ground!

Track where they are now: http://yb.tl/extransglobe15-16