5-Oceans Race competitor Robin Knox-Johnston continues to bale out as wind drops off 23/4/07

Log date Monday 23 April 2007
Position Latitude 39 14N Longitude 60 54W
Miles To Bilbao 2,570 nm
Distance In 24 Hours 103.5 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours 4.89 knots

Sitting becalmed at the moment between two systems, hopefully awaiting a south-westerly wind later. Things quietened down yesterday afternoon so I was able to do some serious baling from the fore part, 41 buckets in total, some 800 pounds of water, which have raised the bow a touch.

I was asked yesterday what the difference between my tactics and those of Unai are. The answer is he decided to go for speed a couple of days ago and so went SE whereas I tried to keep going east. We are both now where we are and dependant on luck as to who gets the favourable winds first. That is out of our hands as the forecasts have been all over the place, changing quite a bit every six hours so tactical planning has become a matter of luck more than science.

I have gone north to pick up a predicted south-westerly later today or tomorrow, but that is if the predictions don’t change. If they do and the south-westerlies do not arrive I will have lost a lot of ground to Unai, more than I could hope to regain but there was not much choice. Had I remained where I was I would still have north-easterlies.

Spent all yesterday still beating, we have not been freed off once since leaving Norfolk but at least this time the others started with the same weather. As I have been tacking with wind shifts my distance covered between positions is small at the moment so looks poor, but I was aiming for an objective upwind. Still in warm water, over 23 degrees celsius, and there are Portuguese men-o-war about.

I can only download one weather system at the moment, but they all use the same basic model so there is not usually much difference. It is making a huge difference having the new Lenovo Thinkpad talking to my older one as I can work between them. Both have survived unscathed the massive amount of banging we experienced the past few days, and now I can use the Maxsea predictions both for wind and best course which has not been available properly the entire race. At the moment the programme seems to be trying to direct me to the Cape Verde Islands and demands my registration number every time I download it when it means please remove and replace the dongle, so its not as clever as it thinks!