hat a day! We have gone from drifting this morning to blasting with 30 knots of wind to slatting tonight. Southeast Australia has
it all in a day's sail!
This morning Verne [Innovation Kvaerner], Toshiba and Chessie were closing in on us.
Eventually, a strong southwesterly breeze filled and the group
made fast progress on the course for 12 hours. We gybed out
before Jules [Kvaerner] and company and stretched to a 9-mile lead as the
wind continued to go south and eventually southeast. The
forecast, mind you, was for the wind to go west-northwest. But that
is par for this leg.
Now, we are slatting as the southeasterly has totally gone and we
wait for the night breeze.
Probably we will slat again tomorrow
morning in the transition between night breeze and sea breeze
along the shore, and once again tomorrow night when trying to enter
Chart of SE Australian Coast |
(Click on image.)
The atmosphere on board is good. After being disillusioned several
times by erroneous weather reports this week, we have all got this
attitude that no matter how screwed up the weather is, we are going
to find a way to get the job done. We seem to have enough food,
even though this leg is taking two days longer than predicted.
There you have it, another blown forecast.
Our buddies on Swedish Match are pestering us by not sailing near
all of us, but rather sailing a course away from the fleet. That is
becoming a bit of a trait of theirs. Our big picture is trying
to get points on Verne and Silk, so we will try to stay in their
neck of the woods if possible.
Todays is the longest day of the year down here, so the shortest
where most of you are. How is the Christmas shopping going? You
haven't started yet, right? I never start this early either and
this year is certainly no exception. How are the eggnog parties?
I think the boys down here drink plenty of beer with their
Christmas barbies, so we will have a little different Christmas if
we get there in time.