LAT 15 24.3S
LONG 154 39.5E
ETA 0600Z 28 JAN 11
WIND email@example.com, Sea Calm, Swell South 1m, Cloud 5/8 Stratus, Baro 1001.0
The past day has been a mixture of perfect sailing conditions and frustrating oscillating light winds and extreme heat as we
try to make miles to windward towards our waypoint 12nm to the SE of the Louisiade Archipelago. Clipper yachts have a very
poor tacking angle of about 120 degrees in light airs, and their 38 Tonne hulls do not like the light conditions at all.
Despite the conditions everybody is very happy onboard and lots of maintenance is being done with everybody getting involved.
Owing to the light winds and occasional spell of boredom, the conversation on deck ranges to the most extraordinary topics,
many of which I dare not mention but often end up with everybody in stitches laughing on deck.
With the other yachts about 50nm to our East, it is frustrating to think that they may be getting better speeds than us, and
with each other in company will no doubt be racing their yacht harder than us as there is more to gain or loose in the
immediate vicinity. Out here in the wild west, we are on our lonesome apart from Geraldton who is not (yet) in sight, and
concentration often lapses as we slip silently and slowly through the sea and tack occasionally to try to make the best ground to windward.
While it is obvious looking at the sky that the weather is coming from the west I am uncertain what sort of weather we are
to be expecting. Yesterday we saw cats paws and lambs tails which is normally a sure sign of upper level activity and a
storm approaching, yet there is still no sign of any more than 6kts of wind. At the moment there are three different
weather models trying to anticipate the path and intensity of Tropical Cyclone Grant. One model suggests it will charge
across the Gulf of Carpentaria and into the coral sea bringing us strong winds, another model suggests it will do this but
weaken to a storm, and another model suggests that it will die off altogether. I am banking on one of the first two of
these options as that will bring us wind before the yachts to the east, while the third option may results in the SE trades
returning that will surely benefit the yachts to the east. Either way, at the moment the GFS files are no real indication
to the conditions at present but give us a good indication of what may happen and something to base our tactical theory on.
The real tell tail signs are in the clouds and I am watching them with anticipation hoping that they will soon bring us wind to take us to the north ahead of the other yachts.