t has been a long frustrating day today on Chessie. We sat in a
local hole with Silk Cut and lost 25 miles to the rest of the
fleet. We are back in the breeze now, but we have to make up a lot
of distance for what we lost earlier today.
On the brighter side, again we had a great start and led the
fleet while exiting the Chesapeake Bay. This was our goal, since
we felt the first boat to the Gulf Stream would benefit from the
We played the Gulf Stream extremely well, which I was
very happy with, since we did not play it well on Leg 7.
Unfortunately, by playing the Gulf Stream, we maintained a more
Southerly route compared with our competitors, which so far has not
paid off due to less wind. It looks as if all of us will be going
through a high-pressure system, which should compress the fleet the
next 24 hours.
Although at the moment we are not doing very well compared with our
competitors, on Chessie we are still upbeat and determined to make
a comeback! In general, we have had excellent weather, reaching
with good wind most of the way. It has also been warmer than we
expected so far. This is due to the warm water temperatures from the
The other night, I was steering, and while making a
sail change I got hit in the face by a flying fish! When we make
sail changes at night, we put on a light on the bow of the boat so
the crew can see better. The flying fish jump for the light, but do
not realize we are traveling at over 10 knots of boat speed. They
end up flying through the air in the back part of the boat. I saw
it coming out of the corner of my eye. It was like getting hit by
a baseball while you are standing at bat. But the baseball is
slimey and smells like fish! Oh well, I got slimed!
One other highlight on this leg, I was seeing a couple of sharks.
Before we entered the Gulf Stream we saw two sharks, one around 14
feet and the other 18 feet in length. Big sharks! It seemed they
were feeding on something. I am glad it wasn't me!
— John Kostecki