We’re back in the pack, deep within enemy territory, fighting to get north and east to the trade winds. It’s such a difficult part of the world to navigate as so much is unknown and not much documented. Cyclone season is upon us, so I asked Chris what do we do now that the routing and weather information is not as established in this part of the world: “We have to deal with what weather we have and factor in some of the areas you need to go. I’ve been across The Doldrums here once before and they are pretty cool, well at least last time we had big storms and there is plenty to play for in that area anyway, so I’d be happy if that runs the same”
Wouter added; “this used to be a very popular shipping route, but with the opening of the Suez canal, very little traffic is seen in these parts and hence the lack of weather observations”.
We find ourselves glued to “Bino duty” as the Australians put it, for the rest of us normal people, that’s a reference to binoculars. Alvimedica has been spotted just port side off the bow. Its early UTC time but late afternoon here in the East. We have had a good sched recently, taking a minimum of two miles on the girls while chasing ADOR down very quickly with an 11 mile gain.
We are approaching a ridge of pressure (you might as well start googling all these terms as we will have plenty of meteorological terminology coming the next couple of weeks) but to give you a quick explanation it’s simply a transition from one direction of wind into a new direction of wind. Once the wind starts to knock us or head (which is normally a bad thing in sailing terms) we will change course to sail north north west again. This change in direction is good as it allows us to travel a more direct line to Abu Dhabi. The change is imminent so we patiently watch the American/Turkish boat ahead to see what will happen.
Wouter explains the complexities of such an area, today he says “we are dealing with a ridge we need to cross and then tomorrow we deal with a small low pressure system and quite an aggressive front. Then we need to go east and try to meet the trades and transition into that, so when do we get some sleep I wonder?!”
I asked Tom today did he feel anything different about this leg, he replied “one of the big changes this leg is eh, we are not going to Cape Town we are actually going to Abu Dhabi, that’s probably the biggest change”. I can at least confirm the sense of humour has not failed on this boat. He added: “It’s been easier to start and get back into it. Having done leg one it’s easier to roll straight back into the routine, so it’s all good so far”
That’s about all the immediate news onboard, we are working the shifts all day to make gain. Gains we are making so long may it continue, it feels right, it feels good and I think we are in sync today.
So long for now Land People….. Brian