Genneker furled, oilies on

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham, 16, is now on the same latitude as the Cape of Good Hope with the breeze picking up.

The solo sailor who left Falmouth on 18 November on his Open 60 , hoping to become the youngest person to sail , non-stop around the world, has filed a new report:

‘Last night, just before I went for a short sleep, I decided to furl away the genneker and open up the Genoa. The wind was set to increase and, sure enough it did. Within a couple of hours it had risen by ten knots.

I was dead chuffed I’d put it away when I did -putting it away in ten knots more wind would have been a lot harder, and the risk of damage to the sail much higher. It’s always much, much better to be on the safe side, as I don’t want to cause any damage, it’s a long way around the world!

For the first time in a long while I’ve been wearing my oilies! I think I better get used to them now, as I drop further and further south.

After a quick lunch of sausage casserole I started on a major re-organising session inside the cabin. It’s amazing how quickly everything can turn into such a mess. I took everything off one of the bunks – my personal stuff including books, spares, camera equipment, etc. After a big re-shuffle it took up about two thirds of the space that it did before, which made me smile.

Everything is stored in special plastic boxes, partly to keep things tidy but also because they are wedged in really well and won’t come lose even if would be knocked on her side.

On the other side of the boat, where the other bunk is, is where I keep all my tools in a giant tool bag; these include a sail repair kit, shoes, batteries and clothes. All my clothes are stored in dry bags so that there is no chance of them getting wet whatsoever – that would be very bad news!

After the tidy up I put a couple of my Christmas presents to good use. One of them is sitting on the edge of the chart table now. It’s a nodding dog! He also works as a barometer – when he nods a lot, I know it’s windy and rough outside! Currently he’s just having a little wobble about so it can’t be too bad at the moment.

One of my other presents was a small ‘island’. All that’s needed is a little water and apparently it grows and grows over three days. I’ve started today so let’s see how big an island I can grow inside the cabin! I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d spend some of my round-the-world trip attempting to grow an island but hey, here goes.’

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