Robin Knox-Johnston battles to windward towards Norfolk 5/3/07

Log date Monday 5 March 2007
Position Lat 029 48S Long 041 17W
Miles to Norfolk, USA 5,017 nm
Distance In 24 Hours 167.8 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours 6.99 knots

Bernard Stamm has finished in Norfolk. He is in a class of his own in this event. Back here the situation has deteriorated. I have NNE winds. Unai is into the trades and away, AGD had that extra easting which I threw away five days ago and he is going through to the north now. If I were to tack now Saga Insurance would be heading west of Rio de Janeiro and oblivion so I have to pound on east and hope the weather will allow me a window to edge north before another high forms in a couple of days NE of where I am now.

It was all down to the disastrous decision to try and head round inside the high that Unai was negotiating five days ago. At that time the weather looked favourable, but I could only get three-day ahead files, the seven-day system was giving trouble, and I could not look far enough ahead. So that one decision has blown this leg. I would have been far better ignoring the weather files and going by the old sailing ship routes, which take you further east to start with. After my experience with technology in this race you really would have thought I’d have known better!

Apart from that today could not have been a greater contrast to yesterday. White puffy cumulus clouds, blue sea, steady wind, sunshine, got slightly burned in fact as I did not realise how hot the sun was. Did the chores and caught up on sleep. Finished off the pot mess, totally different flavour at the finish and rather nice so ate the lot. Got a few salt water sores appearing so I know I am a bit run down so taking action to put that right – plenty of good food and yeast tablets. The cuts are healing rapidly now I have found the Savlon so there’s less blood about!

Getting just a bit lumpy as the wind is backing very slowly, the met people appear to have got that right, and we are starting to punch into a residual ENE sea.