Position: 37,29.87N , 75,28.52W
Speed: 12 knots, Course: 5 deg.
We are back at it, racing up to New York. This will be the second stop in the USA for the Volvo Ocean Race. There were thousands of spectator craft out on the Bay once again to send us off. Great turn out Maryland!
We did not have a very good start after getting tangled up with Brunel. But we tacked to port to clear our air and shortly thereafter we began making gains on the right side of the 4 mile windward leg near the Annapolis Bay Bridge. WE got around the windward mark in third place behind Brasil1 and Movistar. On the run we made some nice gains on the eastern shore and within two hours the Pirates were in the lead.
We had two special guests onboard for the first three hours of leg 6: Dick Cook, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, and Mark Zoradi, President of Buena Vista International. Both enjoyed the ride very much. For the rest of the ride to NY, we have Chris Museler of The New York Times with us.
The wind died completely as we got about half way down the bay. Movistar lost big and Brasil1 passed us and got a couple of miles ahead in that transition. Then we caught and passed Brasil1 about 20 miles from the opening of the Bay. The wind built to 25 knots and we had a problem, changing to our number 4 jib. We have a new system and a new sail and it did not work. So we sailed for a long time with just the mainsail while the guys got things sorted out in 25 knots of wind. One boat passed us at the entrance of the bay, presumably Ericsson, then three more got very close.
Our weather advice was to set up offshore about 8-10 miles. The three boats that we could see tacked before we did. Brasil1 and ABN Amro Two have “paid” to go even further offshore and will hope to recoup with better angle. We will see.
Between 0000 and 0500 the wind kicked up to 40 knots out here. We have two reefs in our mainsail and our old number 4 jib up. Luckily we brought both 4’s. With the wind up between 30-40 knots, it is a very rough ride. The boat is slamming violently and it is the condition where you wonder just how much the boat can take. The wind instruments have broken off the top of the mast so we don’t have any indications like True Wind Speed or Ttrue Wind Direction. Of course we have a compass and we can sail off heading for tactical decisions.
It was a tough night, not much sleep on the Pearl and I am sure not much sleep on any of the boats. We had to tack several times in the transitions inside the bay and that involves moving everything inside the boat from one side to the other each time you tack. A real workout.
Then this pounding makes it hard to stay in your bunk when you finally get a chance to go below. I was driving the boat between 0200 and 0400 and the rain was
stinging my face so hard I could hardly look forward.
We are still 100 miles south of the Delaware Bay. The boats are all still very close although ABN Amro One has marched through the fleet as usual. Our router thinks we will get to NY early in the morning Tuesday.
Pirates of the Caribbean