50 miles to Melbourne

0730 UTC – 50 miles to Melbourne

We are sailing down the coast to the southwest of Port Phillip Bay in 30 knots of wind. We are taking it easy as there is plenty of breeze for a boat without the ability to cant its keel and not much to gain. The sea is very short and steep here and the Port Phillip entrance is known to be very difficult, even closed out, at times. We have two reefs and the Blast Reacher up and we are doing 20 knots.

Last night was another testy night. The wind died and we ended up slating for three hours, then beating upwind in 3 knots for a few more hours. We basically were not getting anywhere and none of that was on any forecast. That set us back yet another 6 hours on what seems to us to be a delayed arrival. The wind filled nicely this morning and we have been making good progress since.

Anthony Merrington did a great job of managing our meals on the trip. Starting with the third night out when we were heading southwest to get round the high pressure ridge, Anthony realized that he needed to start stashing some food. Thanks to him, we are eating our last meal tonight.

I expect the finish tonight will be anticlimactic, 4th place isn’t a place one usually gets overly jubilant about. Having said that, I am not forgetting how we felt about our prospects of completing the leg 10 days ago or the fate of Ericsson or Brasil1 who would be very happy to be in our shoes. Also, it will be nice for us all to be reunited with our team mates and family members and share a few stories over maybe a beer or two. It will be midnight local time when we get to the dock so I don’t envision any kind a big night out on the town.

Kimo Worthington, Curt Oetking, Mike Danks, Mark Reihana have the troopes ready for our arrival. I am sure thy will take good care of us, take the boat off our hands, and be ready to play their part over the next few weeks. We will be racing to Wellington in less than three weeks.

I am looking forward to seeing Melbourne, it is one place I have never been.

I hope that we have done a good job of bringing you the action and the adventure from leg 2 and that you are enjoying the journey with us. I will give you an update on our progress in a week’s time.

Signing off for now.

Paul Cayard

Skipper of the Black Pearl