We are at one of those rare moments in life where you completely relive the same day. As we crossed the international dateline yesterday near the end of the day, it immediately became the night before…”last night”..if you know what I mean. So today, we are having another crack at February 21 and it has been a great day for the Pearl, better than the first attempt. Would that be great if you could redo days regularly?

Juggy is delivering one of his special edition reports today. It is very humorous as usual.

In the meantime, I will give you a short update on the day. At 0600, Rodney felt a big vibration on the rudder. Anthony went down below to inspect through a window we have and found a sushi farm growing on not only the rudder but the keel as well. The precipitated our first “Back down”. That is right, drop the spinnaker, go head to wind in the southern ocean and back her down! We got the kelp off and were back sailing with the spinnaker in a relatively quick 15 minutes. It was pleasing that on the position report that included the back down, (we estimate this cost 5 miles as we were doing 20 knots when sailing full speed), we lost nothing to Ericsson who is our closest opponent out here just 8 miles away.

We have been sailing quite fast today with one of our better sails and mid afternoon were treated to a special visit by ABN1 who had gybed and crossed behind us by two miles. The router is telling us that we all need to stay more south for more wind but the group is turning up to the “Gate” trying to cut the corner on this high pressure system. The danger in that move is that you could find yourself out of wind sand needing to gybe to get south later. Very costly! So we have been trying to stay south even though it doesn’t look as good on the skeds now…slower angle and not as direct a course to the rated mark…to preserve our position as we wind around the outside of the high pressure system. ABN1 obviously got concerned about it and paid a big price to get out. Brasil and just cranked a left turn up into the high on the latest position report (we call them “skeds”). On the sked, we get everyone’s wind speed and direction and it has been consistently lighter up north. So we like our position.

We made a repair today to our keel sensor. It is an important device because not only does it tell us where the keel is, but it also allows our software to perform some automated functions that are very important when we gybe and tack. Without it, we have to dedicate a man to this job, and that is an extra man we don’t have in a gybe in 35 knots of wind.

Easy sailing these first couple of days, 20 knots downwind, sunny skies, moonlight nights. It doesn’t get easier than that in the southern ocean. We did 850 miles in the first 48 hours with hardly any fuss. This is the condition when these boats just eat miles because of their massive sail area. We have the 500 sq meter spinnaker up..that is 5000 sq feet for you non metric types.

Dinner is up in a few so time to sign off.


Pirates of the Caribbean