Geronimo is embedded at the centre of a huge depression and the crew is preparing for more difficult conditions round the Horn

This morning, the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran continued her approach to the Horn via the ice fields. It’s the only way of approaching this hugely turbulent area in which the forecasts change every six hours.

As the hours tick by it becomes increasingly certain that the Drake Strait will become more and more difficult; the crew will have to choose their moment and throw themselves into the arena at the least bad moment during the transition between two major climatic brawls. The sea states promise to become difficult very quickly after the first front passes through and it would be pointless to wait while the second does more to churn up an already troubled sea. Better to risk too much wind than an unsailable sea… “50 knots of wind and we’re really stuck, but a less confused sea and waves under seven metres travelling at less than 30kts would be really nice…” daydreamed the skipper.

The average speed over the first six hours of the new day was 20 kts. The air temperature on board the trimaran was 1.7°C, with the same 25-kt apparent wind speed as this morning. So conditions remain hard, even though this southerly approach does allow the crew to recover a little energy before the passage through the Drake Strait. Their progress matches the eastward progression of the isobars on the weather chart: Geronimo is embedded at the centre of a huge depression as she avoids sea areas that are just too cold. But this lucky Trojan horse is likely to divide into two small separate but spirited weather systems after tomorrow, and that will complicate everything.

Position – DAY 38



443.60 nautical miles in 24 hours

18.48 knots average speed

Distance from Cape Horn: 1,236 nautical miles