LAT 44 42.0N
LONG 040 27.2W
ETA 1200 30 June 2011
WEATHER WIND 135@19kts, Sea Mod, Swell Confused 2m, Sky 5/8 ClSt, Baro 1013
Gold Coast Australia continues to sail comfortably towards the scoring gate with the wind just forward of the beam in relatively moderate seas and the barometer continues to drop as we monitor tropical storm “Chris” as she curves her way to the north behind us.
Yesterdays weather information warned that the low pressure system that we have been monitoring for the past few days has been up graded as a Tropical Storm named Chris and was tracking to the east. While Chris is forecasted to curve its way to the north, I did not want to risk being caught on the wrong side of her if she did not curve to the north as predicted. As a precaution we altered to a more easterly course yesterday, and now is based on following the wind around as the TS approaches to ensure that we do not find ourselves close hauled and consequently loose boat speed. This strategy is working well and keeps us in the safe quadrant of the tropical storm, and while Welcome to Yorkshire has made good ground on us to the north we will hopefully make this back as the wind continues to back.
Yesterday morning was spent preparing for the possible storm like conditions, removing sheets and guys from the deck, checking for chafe, checking the lower areas of the rig and tightening up all halyards to prevent chafe on the spreaders. Happy hour we discussed the predicted weather and the importance to remain vigilant, check for chafe regularly, keep bilges dry and move around the boat safely. We discussed the importance of keeping the yacht ship shape to make life onboard more comfortable and also safer.
For the best part of yesterday Gold Coast Australia found ourselves going against an eddie of current that is spinning off the Gulf Stream. At times we had 2kts of current against us which slowed our progress considerably allowing Singapore and Welcome to Yorkshire to gain some miles on us. Thankfully now we are finally out of the eddie and while winds are not as strong as predicted, we still find ourselves nicely powered up with a reefed mainsail and Y2 making a good 10kts towards the finish.
Our course also takes into consideration the position of the scoring gate, and we plan to pass through the northern end later on this morning and should hopefully gain another three points to our tally. The scoring gate has taken us slightly further east than I would have liked to have gone, but at the same time leaves us in a safe position for Chris to pass to the east of us.
As the summer solstice nears the hours of daylight increase. Yesterday we did our second last time zone change for the trip and we are now use the same local time as the Azores (GMT -1). This is quite a significant achievement in “time”, and highlights that we are nearing the end of our circumnavigation as we have now sailed through every time zone throughout the world.