This a high stakes game

Position: 16,27.85S , 37,42.62W

Speed: 9 knots, Course: 54 deg.

Russian Roulette is more like it than sailing. Large clouds dominate the scene and the wind is light and variable. When it is this light, and while you are making the best of what you have, you can’t help thinking that the other guys have more wind than you do. You don’t ever really know where they are heading and you only know where they are once every six hours. So making decision about where to position your boat is tough. You almost have to just play the wind you have without regard to the fleet which makes this a high stakes game. If a cloud give you a different wind for 3 hours and takes you off the best course, you would never know it until it was too late and you can get big splits quickly in these boats.

We spent most of the day sailing on the tack that took us most north. The wind direction has been oscillating between 210 and 180 true. Also, our weather information makes us believe there is better breeze about 70 miles off the coast rather than say 150 miles off. So we have worked port tack more than starboard and maybe we have done alright.

We caught a rather thick piece of kelp on our rudder this afternoon and had to stop the boat and get Anthony in the water again. He did not mind it much.probably felt damn good. We should all volunteer for that job with 28C water temp.

We spent the majority of the day not seeing anyone. Just about 30 minutes ago we saw ABN2, Brasil and ABN1. We are pretty sure it is them but they are over 8 miles away so hard to be absolutely sure until the next sked.

The good news is that three boats are behind us and we have decent wind right now. We are slowly making progress up the cost and through the disintegrating cold front. Above 16 S we should start to feel some easterlies, light at first. The forecast is for the wind to lighten tomorrow from the 10 knots we have now and slowly creep left toward the east. The westerly position we have on the group near us should be able to be converted into distance forward as we will have a tighter true wind angle in the light winds tomorrow which generates more speed. Sounds good anyway.

Still very hot out here and hard to sleep. I went for a nap on a sail bag in the forward “hold” and woke up in a pool of sweat. I am thinking about going for a nap on the foredeck tonight. Not possible during day light but might be perfect tonight.

We have seen flying fish, Dorado chasing bait fish and a few dolphins. The water is bright blue.very pretty.

That’s all for now.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean