LAT 18 42.0N
LONG 106 20.0W
ETA 13 May 12
WEATHER WIND 285-320@2-6kts, Sea Calm, Swell NW 1/2m, S 1m, Cloud 3/8 Cist, Baro 1013
As I type the familiar slap slap of the mainsail as another bit of swell rocks the boat spilling all the precious wind out of the sails. We have been basically becalmed since sunrise, doing our best to utilise every scratch of wind that comes our way. Alas, thanks to a slight counter current for part of the day we only made 20nm between sunrise and sunset.
The assessment I made last night from the information available set us on the best route possible towards the new wind on the coast, and last night we set ourselves a challenge to be close to the coast in the late afternoon. Unfortunately as the wind gets lighter tit is harder to predict, and consequently less accurate. The predicted wind was not there .
Our gybe angles are quite large and we have two choices at the present time, head east at 2-3kts or head south at 2-3kts. At the moment we maintain our easterly course to cover the fleet and try to close the coast.
As the wind has reduced the temperatures have soured. On watch crew members feet burn as they walk over the sun beaten decks that are so hot you could cook an egg on them. It is important to slip slop slap and drink lots of water. Down below, the stripped out racing interiors become ovens. Fans installed at the start of the race are doing their best to move the air, trying to cool the interior down enough for the off watch to sleep.
The winds seem to light to even help the birds fly and just before sunset two boobies took to nesting at the top of our mast, one right next to our windex, the other on the Raymarine wand. Why do birds always pick the most expensive and fragile equipment when they want to rest? I have a perfectly good radar dome which would be far more comfortable for them, but they obviously like the height of the mast, and I don’t blame them, as at the moment it is as a stable platform as any with fantastic views.
We have now lost all AIS and radar signal on the other yachts (the atmospherics or repeater signal seem to have worn off) so we are on our own, making the most of every precious breath of wind and sailing to win.