Dodging Large Clouds

Position: 20,13.29S , 39,21.58W

Speed: 13 knots, Course: 20 deg.

I just logged the 1600UTC sked. Like many of you, I noticed that the positions were basically the same as they were 6 hours ago. So, one could imagine that we have been just trundling along here, happy as can be.

Nothing could be further from the truth and I suspect if you log onto Virtual Spectator, and look at what happened between the two skeds, you can see what I am talking about.

Basically we are dodging large clouds which dump rain and play havoc with the wind. These clouds are part of a disintegrating cold front that has been lingering in the area of a week. We will eventually have to penetrate it and get through it.

In the past six hours, ABN 1 and our selves got too close to a cloud and parked and that let ABN2 and Ericsson get about 5 miles ahead of us. Brasil and Movistar also appeared from over the horizon as we sat there making 3 knots.

About 2 hours later, Ericsson and ABN 2 returned the favor by getting too close to a cloud and letting us get to windward of them. Sure enough, we ate up their 5 mile lead and put some on them.

It is like musical chairs out here. We are changing sails, monitoring the radar to track the speed and course of the clouds and then changing our course to try to avoid the largest potholes.

The only common thread is that ABN 1 is the fastest boat almost all the time. We got ahead of her in the park up and as soon as the wind filled in steadily for both of us, she blew by us. It was so impressive we video taped it.

It is hot down below. Sea temp and air temp are 28C. Luckily, there has been breeze for the most part. At some point it is going to go light and that will be painfully hot.


Pirates of the Caribbean