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Whitbread Log: Leg 2, Cape Town to Fremantle
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Day 6 - Nov. 13, 1997

1148 GMT - 44° 16'S, 031° 57'E

Miles to Fremantle: 3,857

Place: 6th; distance behind 1st-place boat: 439 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

The first Southern Ocean Fire Department call was made last night. Just a 2-alarm, but definitely enough to serve notice that these fires down here are hot, so they use extra-cold water.


I am really enjoying this experience. It is the ultimate camping trip.
— P.C.
It was only 25 knots of wind, top speed on board was just 22 knots, and the waves were only 3 meters high, so it was junior league. When the five-alarm hits, it is going to be extra special. You have heard of sailing being compared to standing in a cold shower tearing up $100 notes. Well, this is like tearing up $1,000 notes in an ice maker. I had on expedition-weight pile, dry-suit top, full foul weather gear, capalene-lined skull cap, balaklava hat and lobster gloves with rubber wrist seals and it wasn't even cold yet.

We are at 44 degrees south in 25 knots of wind heading for 52 south in 50 knots of wind. If you are trying to figure out what that means mathematically, I don't think you should multiply by 2. Try squaring.

Anyway, EFL is making good progress. Last night we held the southerly route, which should be better over the next few days, while our friends on Merit and Silk Cut sailed more north, which is lower and faster since we are on starboard tack. This part of the race is like being in your 30s. You still have to invest in the future: your kids' college education fund, some growth stocks — Growth Fund of America, New Perspective. You know, that kind of stuff. It is not time yet to go for the Income Fund of America or the U.S. Treasury Fund.

So, we are investing in the south. A high-pressure system is coming our way. Those to the south should get westerlies, those to the north will get easterlies and those in the middle will get nothing.

Stevie cooked chili again for the third time in 5 days. We almost had a mutiny. Four people would not eat at all, preferring to live on Power Bars. We are rationing toilet paper already. I don't know what is wrong with the guy . . . he must love indigestion.

Sitting on the rail last night with scary pulverizing our faces and the temp well into the 30s F., I was having a chat with Marco Constant, our South African. It went something like this:
PC - "Hey, Marco, what are you doing?"
MC - "Just hanging out."
PC - "Hangin' out at the pool bar?"
MC - "Yeah. Just waiting for the topless waitress to come around with my Mai Tais."
PC - "Yeah. With lots of ice, right?"
MC - "Yeah. I always have my Mai Tais in the Southern Ocean with extra ice."

Just a few hours earlier we were reaching along nicely with the spinnaker up. It was dark and we noticed a large black cloud coming toward us. Before we could do anything, it hit us with a 60-degree wind shift, header, and a wind increased from 16 to 25 knots.

We broached and were stuck head to wind for about 40 seconds, spinnaker and staysail raging violently as we could not bear away because we had no water ballast in. Finally got the boat borne away, changed from the spinnaker to the blast reacher, bald headed, so we could sail course, and went off into our first fire drill with ice pellets. It was dark, of course.

I am really enjoying this experience. It is the ultimate camping trip. Just the guys, good equipment, and a really unique natural park. It is also one of the few times in my life in the last 10 years, maybe the only time, that I can get totally focused on just one thing. It is all consuming and mutually exclusive as you are, on location, let's say.

That's enough for now. Got to save some for tomorrow.

Paul Cayard
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