fter half a day of exploring and backtracking, we have now
resumed progress toward São Sebastião.
The southerly flowing
Brazilian current smacked us hard last night, bringing confused
seas and swirling winds. As the wind built to 27 knots, we reefed
and went to the storm jib to slow the boat down. We were slamming
pretty hard, and in light of our position, we felt it the prudent
thing to do.
We have about 1.5 knots of current against us, most of which will
remain with us for the remainder of the 980-mile trip. This means
another 4.5 days, realistically. The weather forecasts have been
extremely confused, the UK model, which the grib file is based
on, showing the wind backing to the west in the next 24 hours, and
the Dutch and U.S. models showing easterly wind. I think the best
we can do is ignore all that and the current, and just go on the
closest tack to the finish.
Last night as we were slamming, I was beginning to realize that
this is getting to be a long leg. I am sure it is getting real
long for those behind us although they may be consumed by the
closeness of their race and therefore more distracted than we.
Brunel's investment has paid off handsomely, as she has moved to
second place by finding more wind and better current east of the
Falklands. Chessie is also back in the fray.
The water temperature hit 70°F last night. It is 68° right now.
The inside of the boat went from it's cool self to a steam bath.
After three weeks at sea, we really stink, the boat stinks. I
think a shower is imminent.
We are currently on the wind on Starboard tack, heading 30M,
doing about 8 knots over the bottom, 9.5 through the water. Slow
going really. I see in front of me that our average speed for this
leg so far is 12.6 knots. That is impressive considering the
first five days of the race and these last five days. We will see
what the next five days brings us.