We finally made some gains

Position: 44,14.94N , 43,52.24W

Speed: 15 knots, Course: 64 deg.

A pretty good day for the Black Pearl. We finally made some gains on Brasil1 and stretched bit on ABN2. The weather has been a “rich gets richer” scenario for the past few days but today everyone had a chance to make some gains. We all gybed a couple of times and repositioned ourselves so there were opportunities. This afternoon we all picked out slots for dealing with a high pressure ridge tonight. The safer route was also the longer route. We are in the middle as usually with Brasil lining up to be the closest to the light wind zone and ABN1 and Ericsson being the furthest and therefore safest.

We got a large piece of lumber stuck on our keel this morning so we had to drop the spinnaker, stop and back down in 22 knots of wind. It takes a while to recover with the right spinnaker back up and everything back to normal. We have gotten pretty good at backing down and figure that they only cost us about 2 miles. But it is amazing that we could hit a 2×2 in the middle of the ocean, hit it right in the middle of its 4 foot length, fold it in half around the keel and not have it come off.

Today we also got some speed up, real speed, first time since round the Horn really. We hit 26 knots and had the water rushing do the deck most of the afternoon. The waves were not very large but it really put a smile on everyone’s face to b going over 10 knots. I mean hear we are not quite half ay across the Atlantic and it is coming up on day 6.

Tonight we are back into some lighter winds as we approach a small high pressure ridge, we should get past that by tomorrow afternoon ad then the wind will ramp up and be 25-35 for Thursday and Friday. With any luck we will arrive in Portsmouth some time late Saturday night.

Right now we are 160 miles south-south east of Flemish Cap, a position made famous in the film “Perfect Storm”. It is a long way from Gloucester, Massachusetts, especially in a storm!

The sea temp is 16C so it is quite civil both on deck and below. We had sun all day today which was a treat. Pretty fun to be ripping along at 25 knots on a beautiful, sunny day, so many miles from no where.

A Norwegian ship was on a converging course with us for several miles this afternoon. I rang up the bridge on VHF16 and talked to them about our impending intersecting course. They were very nice to us an we passed in front without any problem. I had nice chat with the Captain. The ship was from Bergen ad the captain was intimately familiar with the race and commented on our speed; we were doing about 20 knots average at the time. They had delivered a load of Norwegian crude to New Orleans and were on their way back. Their course was up over the top of Scotland and into Bergen.

The wind is really dropping as I write this; down to 8 knots. Loosing the wind is always an anxious time. It should b dropping for all, except maybe Movistar who is in a different weather system.

That’s it for today. I m very tired right now and heading for sleep.

Paul Cayard

Pirates of the Caribbean