David Scully, watch captain aboard Steve Fossett's 125ft super-cat Cheyenne, with the first of his regular yachtingworld.com news stories as the team prepares for the imminent Jules Verne Challenge
David Scully, watch captain aboard Steve Fossett’s 125ft super-cat Cheyenne, with the first of his regular yachtingworld.com news stories as the team prepares for the imminent Jules Verne Challenge.
The work lists are drying up. The extra help hired to get a million “must do” things done are wishing us luck and heading for home. There is no shortage of activity, but the crew is laying off the boat work in favour of packing their own parachutes. Later on today, the boat should be stocked, clean, and ready to leave at noon on Wednesday for the Jules Verne Challenge. But will it?
The weather picture we have been watching with such confidence started to lose its allure on Thursday night. The idea was to shoot down the coast of Portugal while the Azores High had its back turned, get into the Trades, and on to the Equator. It now looks like the high will not shift to the west as planned, but stand sentry over the route south with all its normal vigilance. There is still wind to reel off 600 miles or so on the first day, but we will grind to a 24-hour halt opposite Lisbon.
If we miss this one, we will be stuck for at least a fortnight. And then what? At the end of January we will be half way through the 2004 circumnavigating season. Will February bring the ideal pattern, or is this as good as it gets?
These are the questions keeping Stan Honey, Steve Fossett, and your correspondent on tenterhooks. The next bulletin from Commander’s weather arrives in an hour. As Crewmember Guillermo Altadill would say: “Que suspensa!!”