3/4ers the way up the Chesapeake Bay

Position: 38,44.29N , 76,24.97W

Speed: 8 knots, Course: 32 deg.

In the USA. We are currently 3/4ers the way up the Chesapeake Bay.

The last 48 hours have been trying. We have been slating in flat calms with huge left over seas, dodging intense electrical storms, and beating upwind in a 30 knot squall. The 120 miles up the Chesapeake was long and slow without much wind during the night. At one point we almost had to anchor to avoid going backwards with the current. The GRIB forecasts have been anything but accurate in these conditions. After two weeks and the last two days in particular, we are ready to get there. 30 miles to go as of now.

At the entrance to the Bay, we picked up Gary Jobson off a RIB. He is getting some material for his shows on PBS and ESPN. We have done a few interviews onboard and chatted about many things. His battle with Cancer is an amazing story. I am in awe of anyone who has had to face that challenge.

When I meet people like Gary or our own Rob Myles or my navigator on EF, Mark Rudiger, I often wonder how I would hold up if faced with Cancer or something similar. Suddenly sailing around the world doesn’t seem so tough.

It is nice to have Garry onboard. He and I first sailed together in the 1983 Cup with Tom Blackaller on Defender.

After getting Gary onboard, I was just sitting by myself in the back of the boat for a moment reflecting on the fact that we were in the safety of the Chesapeake and what a long journey it had been to get The Black Pearl to the USA. We had to sail her 25,000 miles and through a couple of scary moments to get her to her home country. But we are here now and it will be a great couple of weeks for all involved with Pirates of the Caribbean and The Black Pearl. We are all looking forward to our time in Baltimore, Annapolis and New York. The USA is the only country that has more than one stop in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The wind has gone very light in the Bay here tonight. We are making 10 knots at the moment so it will be several hours, probably day break before we get to Baltimore.

In reflecting on this leg, it was another solid performance for The Black Pearl. Our third place is keeps us on the podium for the third leg in a row. Movistar sailed very well and passed us in the standings and therefore we have slipped from 3rd to 4th. But we are just one point out of second place now due to ABN Amro Two doing poorly. So we are in very good shape for the race for second overall. Considering Movistar did not finish two out of the first five legs, they are doing very well. I think this is indicative of a fast boat. We will have a good battle on our hands to beat them overall in this race.

The crew will be off for 6 days while the shore team gives the boat a thorough inspection and maintenance. We don’t have any major issues that need attention.

I have asked Gary Jobson to write a guest editorial Pirate Update. He is snoozing right now after indulging in our freeze dried food. Hopefully he will regain consciousness. If he writes a piece we will send it out ASAP.


Pirates of the Caribbean