What a day!

Position: 23,26.35N , 61,9.30W

Speed: 14 knots, Course: 303 deg.

What a day! It all started off just as great as yesterday ended. The Pearl making gains on the competition, nice easy trade winds sailing, warm and sunny. Then in a one hour period, the spinnaker we had trouble with yesterday started parting at the seams after 30 minutes of use. Take it down, put up something else and Justin and Dirk out of the watch system for the third time in three days.

Then, the batteries were completely flat. Somehow, in a period of 2 hours max, we went from a full 24 volts to just 8 volts. Luckily we got the generator started but it took about 2 hours to get the batteries to a level where we could draw on them. Juggy found a wire that had come loose so we are hopeful that he found the problem. We will know tomorrow after seeing how the voltage holds up tonight. So we had no instruments or any electronics for about four hours. At the same time we had a problem with our keel canting mechanism that was also electronically related.

And of course all this happened right when the wind began to shift a lot and Jules and I needed to focus on the weather and tactics. So it has been a long day to say the least.

As of now, we have the keel working, the spinnaker fixed, and the batteries fully charged. We still don’t have some of our instruments working like radar and our Deckman routing tool as the main instrument package is down and we are running on the back up system.

Everyone is pretty tired so we need some stable conditions in order to get everyone a bit of sleep. However, the wind has just come up to 30 knots so it is not a time to relax. 30 knot is right on the edge of being too much for the masthead spinnaker so we may have to take it down and put up a fractional spinnaker just to prevent any further issues. My experience from

1997-1998 tells me that we can’t afford anymore major issues for a while.

Meanwhile, we are supposed to be looking outside the boat and figuring out what the weather is going to do and what our competitors have and are going to do. The weather we have is nothing like any of the forecasts, so we

won’t be relying on them. At the last sked, ABN Amro One and Movistar had gotten out of the hole we were all in and extended their lead on us. The rest of us were still stuck in the disintegrating low pressure cell. We got moving about 3 hours ago, so I hope we have stopped the bleeding with ABN Amro One and Movistar and we should have stretched on Brasil1 and Ericsson if the trend remained.

We are not really sure what the weather is going to do and the last few GRIBs have all been in conflict with each other and none has really proven to be accurate. So for now, we are going on the tack that is most direct to Baltimore.

I am going to put my head down for a few minutes before the sked comes.


Pirates of the Caribbean