Refreshed by a squall shower, Knox-Johnston moves ahead of Dalton by 53 miles in the V5O 16/3/07

Log dateFriday 16 March 2007
PositionLat 01 25S Long 037 18W
Miles To Norfolk, USA3,173 nm
Distance In 24 Hours197.1 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours8.21 knots

Saga Insurance has passed the area where AGD hit a UFO and now has a 53 mile lead and is back up in fourth place.

After three days in which we covered 760 miles, yesterday put the dampers on. The wind eased in the morning so the speed dropped down to 7-8 knots. I need to be more north or west to get the wind, but the wind I had was ESE so west was out. It was overcast for much of the day, which was a relief as it keeps things cooler, when the sun beats on the deck the heat gets through to the cabin and makes it unbearable.

As I was having my sundowner the clouds came in, great dark ones with the occasional spiral down to the sea and then I could see the rain coming. I quickly closed all the hatches on Saga Insurance and stood by. The wind shifted 60 degrees and the deluge started. It was lovely. Cool, fresh, I had been feeling short of energy all day but now I felt great. I filled every water container I had and then indulged in a lovely cool shower, not cold, not warm, I keep the Fairy Liquid in the cockpit for such opportunities. The wind went all over the place so I steered for a while, sometimes on 320° then on 060° as the wind shifted with the clouds, the rain pelting down on my skin, it was glorious. Nice to have the boat freshed off as well to get rid of the salt and even the cabin is cooling down.

At 0044 this morning Unai had opened up 26 miles on the day, I was relieved it wasn’t more. These miles are so hard to recover. By that time we had a northerly wind which appeared nowhere on the computer weather predictions. This is no way to race of course, I cannot get the course I want and I need more wind, but you have to deal with the cards you have. With the wind down to three knots at times, averaging five, we were making 3-7 knots of boat speed but the others had 13 here, so we have a bit of catching up to do when we eventually get wind.

I had not felt energetic or very hungry all day, had a fruit breakfast and onion and tuna for lunch, so this evening I had one of Expedition Food’s freeze dried meals, chicken curry, delicious, but just made me feel more hungry. The cooler atmosphere is obviously good for me.

I saw a ship just before the squall arrived, that is not a time to be close to other vessels with the wind fluctuating so much, but fortunately it was well passed when the circus began.

I passed within seven miles of where AGD hit something and damaged her rudder yesterday afternoon, keeping a good lookout, but apart from a group of birds on the surface, saw nothing, which was not very surprising.