mooth sailing since midnight last night. Wind in the mid-20s,
and for those of us who haven't been in some wind for a while, a
few anxious moments. Nothing like a few hours of frothing through
the waves to make you stick out your chest and scream, "BRING IT
ON!" (well, maybe not that much!)
Ice Zone is well behind us now. Amazing how quick the water
temperature returned from its chilling 39 degrees Fahrenheit to a
balmy 59! Everyone has shed at least a layer (from a thick 4 or 5
layers of the highest tech thermal protection sport can find
still allowing the chills of Mother Nature to seep within). Hats
and gloves are a thing of the coolest midnight hours. Soup
consumption is way down. Fist fights that were breaking out for
the grinding handles to keep chilled bones warm have subsided.
Curtis stays the warmest, he's the best brawler!
Had a good tussle with "Verne" [Kvaerner] last night as it began to get dark.
Verne swooped down upon us from the south, as we reached
precariously close to the "no sail" zone imposed by the race
committee to keep us out of the Titanic-sinking iceberg area.
We slowly drew up within shouting distance to have Verne
relentlessly sag upon our wind. With a couple of well-timed
waves, and a slight luff into the wind these boats generate so
much speed, that the apparent wind shifts forward the 10 degrees
needed to bring breaths of fresh air from out in front of
Verne Language planed effortlessly ahead, doing 18 knots of
Today we find ourselves in third place. "Shiba" and "Merit"
have gained a bit. We are presently 3 miles ahead of Verne, after
spending all day within a mile or two. A forecasted front was to
appear in the area about 3 this afternoon, giving us something to
jibe on and center ourselves in front of those behind (namely
Those behind did jibe, as of the morning sched. Very
anxious moments aboard EF as the shift never
materialized . . . allowing Match to conceivably get a lot of
separation to the north, while we were forced to plod on to the
south. A more recent sched has confirmed that Match and the fleet
have returned to the southern route, and the "ducks are now
getting in line." EF Education and Chessie plod on north, ever
dangerously close to an approaching high, with "vacuum-like"
Wooooooooowwwwww . . . got to go . . . time to jibe!!!
I'm back . . . thump,thump,thump . . . heart going. Jibing can always have horrific consequences when maneuvering in 25 knots of wind. Went smooooooooooooooth as silk (no Lawrie intended)!
Verne? . . . Gone. Like two ships passing in the night. Funny how
you spend 24 hours racing intently another boat,
then . . . poof! . . . they're gone, faster than you can bat an eyelash.
Alone again, pushing on, and on, and on . . .
It's hard as the end of this race approaches for our thoughts not
to shift to our next project. We were talking about America's Cup
and saying how much our friend Russell Coutts, the Team New
Zealand skipper, would like it out here. As many of you know he's a
keen fisherman and with so many of his favourite quarry out here,
namely the North Atlantic dolphin fish, or Mahi Mahi, he would be
loving it. Ah, but I digress, must get back to racing the boat.
Before I forget: To all the fine mothers out there, from the kids of EF . . . HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!
With much love from the EF Language:
Francis...from Paul C.
Mom...from Mark R.
Mamma Jude...from Stevie Wonder.
Alison...from Paul M.
Thanks for allowing us all to be out here! See you soon!!!