The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is now at the entrance to the Drake Strait at 59°S, where a wind of around 20kts is gradually changing direction from east to south
The Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran is now at the entrance to the Drake Strait at 59°S, where a wind of around 20kts is gradually changing direction from east to south. This rotation should continue through the rest of today and tonight and eventually result in the overdue release of the 11-man crew from their icy nightmare.
Since the large depression is moving a little more slowly than forecast, they are literally having to wait. Geronimo tried to put on some speed towards the East yesterday, just to see what would happen in a westerly swell which is flowing against a 2-3m easterly chop. About every 15 minutes, a wave from the east would coincide with the crest of the swell from the west to create a 5m wall of water, which would break over the forward beams without warning. This is neither the place nor the time to put the structure of the boat at risk, especially since a gigantic depression will arrive here on Saturday, finally closing the door on the Pacific Ocean for this winter. It will be best for all concerned to be far away from here by then.
The trimaran therefore continues to tack towards the Atlantic, taking good care to avoid getting too close to the coast and, paradoxically, not to arrive too soon at the Horn. What’s more, just in case the escape into the Atlantic was a little too easy, it is possible that Geronimo could be met by quite a storm north of the Falklands. After the Azores High over Madeira, the trade winds out of place, a gigantic Doldrums, the St Helena High over Argentina, a civilised Indian Ocean, a warlike Pacific and a crawling upwind passage to the Horn, what else is there to come? All it needs is a small depression over the Azores to complete this meteorological roller-coaster of a round-the-world trip!
59°07S – 84°52W
264.60 nautical miles covered in 24 hours at an average speed of 11.02 knots
Distance from Cape Horn 571 nautical miles