ace of a different kind.
After a hair-burning, damn-the-torpedos downwind screamer a few
days ago where a 1-mile gain was more important than bergie
bits, fatigue or food we have settled into a race of a different
kind. Now we know that with a 400-hundred mile lead, the
hundreds of little unknowns are just lurking waiting to rain on
We have to be extra cautious about every decision and
manouevre, and comb over the rig and steering with a fine-tooth
comb. We are on constant radar watch, even when clear and radios
on. Paul and I have been scrutinizing the fickle weather ahead
looking for any sign of potholes. 1500 miles is still a long way
and plenty can happen.
At the moment, however, we continue to be
blessed with ESE winds of 14 to 17 knots and have just entered the
north flowing Falkland current, adding 2 knots to our already 11+
knot average towards the mark. Paul predicts another can of "woop
ass" for us against the other boats for the next sked. This
current could help us for another 300 miles before we run into the
southbound Brazil current, which we will try to avoid the brunt of
by heading offshore.
The guys are starting to get a little restless since we havn't had
a sail change in 48 hours. In spite of predictions, the wind won't
shift. They're not complaining too much, as it is giving us good
easy miles to the mark. We all remember what happened to Dickson
when he was leading at this point last time, so we don't need any
big headwinds to challenge our rig.
Running with this cold-water current (53 °F, 12 °C), it's still a
little chilly out, but we officially gave our little heater big
praise and put it away with the heavy woolies and gloves. I'm
convinced our improved gear and heater helped our spirits and,
hence, our performance. It won't be long before the shorts will
come out and six guys will be negotiating for two fans.