LAT 13 15.0S
LONG 153 17.8E
ETA 0600 28 Jan 2012
Wind 000@13 Sea moderate NE 1m Swell Confused Cloud 6/8 developing, Low Cl, High St, High Ci, Baro 1019 falling
The wind at the moment is not playing the game for Gold Coast Australia, it seems like our friend Coriolis has gone on
holiday! In accordance with the Routing Chart we should have SE’ly wind, in accordance with the GFS Grib we should have had
NWly wind for the past 20 or so hours, yet it continues to blow from the NE. This is a major setback for Gold Coast as we
have been hugging the west hand side of the course for the last two days covering the fleet in preparation for the new wind
from the west. Apart from the wind backing a very slow 5 degrees every two hours for the last few hours, the current weather
is about as constant as it can possibly get, and therefore no good for my tactics at all! Weather is weather and it will
do what it wants despite human efforts to predict it and control it, and this is yacht racing and this is why we love our
game so much. With the only 4nm separating the first 6 boats, and 10nm separating the first 9 boats in the fleet the racing to the scoring gate is incredibly close and very exciting.
The weather at the moment is definatly extrodinary, and thought we saw cats paws and mares tales in the sky yesterday which
normally indicate an approaching storm, until now there has been little change in the wind for the past 20 hours apart from
a slight increase and shift to the North East where we do not want it to go. As the afternoon builds there are bluish grey
haze filling the horizon all the way to the clouds, signs of monsoon type weather. There is also signs of upper level
activity in the clouds above us and the barometer has started to drop and the air is cooling which also tell us of a change
in wind soon to come, though this change may come too late for us to get to the scoring gate first, it will assist in
sailing through the doldrums that can be normally found between between the equator and 12 degrees this time of year and hopefully still benefit us in our more westerly course.
Apart from the frustration of the wind not doing what it is “supposed to” these have been perfect sailing conditions, with
11-14kts of constant wind Gold Coast is humming along nicely -even though on not the predicted and desired course.
Everybody on board is having a fantastic time as the sun is out and the breeze is nicely cooling on our hot bodies and if it
wasn’t for the pressure of trying to beat the other boats to the scoring gate life could not be better. It is no wonder so
many cruising boats flock to these latitudes and give up the manontony of “ordinary life” for a gypsy life on the sea and at
the moment I am defiantly seeing merit in selling everything and moving to a pacific island!
With the perfect conditions on deck our on board library is getting a good work out, as everybody enjoys the sunshine while
reading books and listening to music on deck, relieved by the odd splash of water that soon dries out before you need to
turn your book to the next page. The only thing really missing from this perfect scenario is wildlife, and apart from a
small pod of dolphins this morning and a boobie bird that keeps trying to steel our wind vane we have seen very little wild
life for this part of the world where usually turtles, dolphins and sharks are a common occurrence. This makes you wonder
what has happened to our ecosystem over the past few years to reduce such numbers in ocean wild life and what will become of us if the oceans become barren.