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Whitbread Log: Leg 2,
Cape Town to Fremantle
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  Our generator broke ... we had no way to make water or charge the batteries.
Day 17 - Nov. 24, 1997

1200 GMT
34° 25'S, 112° 56'E

Miles to Fremantle: 210

Place: 5th; distance behind 4th-place boat: 43 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

Report #3 - 1604 GMT

Just blew out the tuff luff again. Sailed downwind for 30 minutes.

Spent 30 more minutes getting hosed down on the bow while we lashed on the #4 to the headstay.

The Saga does not seem to end.

Report #2 - 1246 GMT

Just blew the starboard grove off the head foil. It had been cracked from one of the pole smashings earlier, so it was just a matter of time. Hopefully, not too many headsail changes will be needed between here and the finish.

Wind and seas are calming down as the front is passing. The wind should continue to ease and lift, which will slow down our progress but make the ride less jarring.

Gained again on everyone on the last sked, but the bites on Silk Cut are too small. We will see what the morning off Freo brings.

Report #1 - 0759 GMT

We are still getting banged around a bit, but the wind is coming down, just 25 knots now. Yesterday, we were sailing in a rain storm as bad as you would ever consider driving through in your car. It was windy, up to 37, and driving rain. That, coupled with the hose treatment, made for a tough day.

The jarring motion that the boat has in these conditions is also very tiring. One must hang on at every moment, even in the bunk. Even as I write to you I have my knee wedged under the nav table so I have my hands free to type and don't fall to leeward. When you use the head, you have to hang on and then it rains on you the whole time, so not a lot of lingering. It is just a constant workout.

Our generator broke now, so Magnus and Klebbe have been working for 8 hours on fixing it. After they could not, they then started to make the main engine the generator. We had no way to make water or charge the batteries. They just got the main engine hooked up to do the job, so some food should be on the way as soon as the water is made.

The wind is forecast to get lighter as we approach Fremantle and the leaders are showing this in the skeds. We gained on everyone in the last two skeds — unfortunately, only 5.7 miles on Silk Cut. Still trying to grind them down. Anyone who remembers Fremantle from 1986 will remember that the morning can be very tricky wind-wise there and we will be arriving tomorrow morning. Maybe an opportunity.

The water temperature is up to 67 degrees, or 19 degrees C. That is a big improvement. Sky is still 90% overcast.

We have a rendezvous with a journalist who is doing an article for National Geographic about 100 miles from Perth. He has permission from the organizing authority to sail the last 10 hours with us. Hopefully, it will not be too rough when the transfer takes place tonight. He started the race with us and got off after four or five hours.

Starting to work on the lists for Fremantle. Important not to lose time when we hit the dock. We are already two days behind Swedish Match on preparing for leg 3 and we probably have more work to do.

Paul Cayard
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