Straight Forward 24 Hours

Position: 56,47.66S , 94,41.67W

Speed: 23 knots, Course: 87 deg.

Another pretty straight forward 24 hours. The wind has been between 20 and 22 knots for that past 24 hours and hasn’t deviated in direction more than 7 degrees over that period. We are riding along in the same location on the front because we can travel at the same speed as the front. That is a new game for me as the 60’s were slower than the fronts so you always had to “look over your should” to see what was coming net wind wise. This is another reason that positioning is so important. Once you set up in a good lane you can ride it for days. No sail changing no stress, less chance to make mistakes, don’t screw up the watch system.the snow ball rolls in the positive sense.

Yesterday was particularly tame and we took advantage of the situation to make some repairs. Erle Williams repaired the pump handle on the toilet (this item had the highest priority) that poor thing gets yanked around 10-12 time s a day by ten 200 pound guys who don’t really want to be there as it is forward of the mast. I think I am going to tell the shore team to make one out of titanium. After that, Erle fixed a leak in our ballast tankcover as we were sailing for some hours with that empty. Jules repaired the GPS main antennae which suffered a “whip-saw” shot to the head on one of our sail changes. A “Whip-saw” shot is like when you used to snap your towel at some guys butt in the locker room in high school. In our case, a loose spinnaker sheet “whipped” the antennae and KO’s it so we had to go to back up number one. I think we have four of those things so no real alarm there. Then Jules fixed our intercom system; our means of communicating from the nav station to the deck.

I made a few phone calls yesterday to a few important fans to let them know how we are doing out here. I have decided to splurge on the crew and allow them each one 5 minute phone call from the boat as we approach the Horn. Rounding the Horn is a big achievement for any sailor. These are moments one never forgets; the first sighting of the Horn, a very distinctive shaped rock that you watch grow in stature as you approach. It is scheduled to be daybreak on the 2nd when we pass the Corn. We have four first timers; Justin Ferris, Anthony Merrington, Jeremy Smith, and Jules Salter; 2 who will round for the second time; Justin (Juggy) Clougher, and Craig (Saturday) Satterthwaite, and four three timers; Erle Williams, Rodney Ardern, Dirk DeRidder and myself. “Three must be enough.surely.” I am just writing that in for my wife as she was not here to write in herself and I know that is what she is thinking as she reads this.

Weather wise, we are setting up a bit high for the approach to the Horn. We expect 25 knots of wind in about 12 hours times and maybe 35 knots of wind in 24 hours time all from the northwest. We will need a little runway with these rockets so you don’t want to get caught low. Movistar has now come up from the south and they are 15 miles behind us. So the net outcome of the decision we made three days ago; to gybe toward the Horn and leave them go south, paid of to the tune of 15 least. ABN1 is staying down there as they don’t worry too much about getting caught low as they have much more stability than the rest of us so they can just rock up across the fleet whenever they want. Brasil1 has been making nice gains to the north of our line and I think that was another reason Movistar changed course and headed north. We are all starting to “cover” our opponents a bit as we near the scoring point at the Horn. The points are awarded on the basis of who crosses the longitude of the Horn first, independently of what latitude.

The forecast show that the increase in breeze is coming from the northwest so Brasil1, ABN2 and Ericsson should make some gains on us approaching the Horn. Looks like good breeze for the first two days after the Horn.reaching in westerlies,,,so we will make good mileage there. After that, this leg normally has a very difficult part off the coast of Rio de la Plata or Buenos Aires. The warm south flowing Brazilian current meets the cold north flowing southern ocean current and it is a very tumultuous piece of water. If it is windy there, we will have to be careful with the boats.

Just got the latest sked, 2200 on the 28th, and see that Movi gained four miles on us and Brasil gained too . Movistar must have a fractional kite on as he is sailing 3 degrees higher than us and just as fast. He had a bit more wind as all who are behind do. He is going high to get set up for the big breeze tonight and tomorrow. I have to go now.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean