We have had Brasil in sight all day and they have been making slow but steady gains on us. We have tried everything, different sails, different trim and shapes, different helmsmen. They are just 1 mile away so we can see what sails they have up and they appear to be the same as ours but yet, they are going a bit faster. They will pass us very soon. Pretty frustrating. Hopefully the wind angle or wind speed will change soon and we get a better match up against them.

The story up front continues to be the same with ABN1. They are just a lot faster than the rest of the fleet. Movistar is a fast boat too but no match for ABN.

Last night there were plenty of squalls, and after getting hammered by one and loosing 5 miles to the fleet on one sked, we managed to get the good side of the next two and make some big gains on the next sked, mostly on Ericsson who were right behind us all day. I am hoping for some squalls tonight so we can have a chance to break this routine with Brasil.

King Neptune did visit the Pearl yesterday. He interrogated the first timers; Ferris, Salter and Budgen. They were all sentenced and the appropriate punishments were carried out. After the punishments were handed out, they were welcomed into the Northern Hemisphere by King (Kirby) Neptune and his assistant Count Williams who between them have almost 100 years of experience. They have all recovered now and are functioning normally in their roles onboard.

On another note, here is an excerpt from a very nice email that I want to share with you;

Hey there Pirates!

My class has been following you around the world. We’ve enjoyed your mails and keeping track of where you are. As you report to me, I share the info with my class, then they give weekly reports to our school (550 students) on morning announcements via closed circuit TV. One lucky student gets to wear the pirate hat while making his/her part of the announcement. It’s been a fun and interesting project for us.

I just wanted to share this with you, to encourage you on this leg, and let you know that, here in Annapolis, you have a cheering squad awaiting your arrival. Good luck on the rest of this leg and beyond!

Jeanne Olsen

Windsor Farm Elementary School

Annapolis

It is nice to know that we occupy a little space in hearts of these kids.

The sky is still overcast as we have not completely broken out of the Doldrums region. We have good winds; 13 knots, but from a very northerly direction and this is forcing the fleet to sail a very westerly route. We continue to sail wide angles to keep our boat speed up. Speed is the name of the game here. This will take us closer to the Caribbean than normal.

The winds should start to lift in the next 24 hours and we will then aim up more directly toward Baltimore. For the next four days we should be in the trades sailing mostly 80-110 true wind angle in 15-20 knots. This is where stability counts and that is why ABN1 is so fast. There is little strategy to apply here.speed is king. As we approach the east coast, we will have to deal with more dynamic weather features and then there will be some options and decisions to make tactically.

Life onboard is ok..a bit frustrating with the speed thing. Not as hot today. Water temp is down to 28.2C. Not a lot of physical activity, just straight line sailing with jibs, staysails and mainsails.

PC

Pirates of the Caribbean