The defining characteristic of these past few days has been gray, gray, gray, overcast and gray. It seems as though we have not seen the sun substantively, except of one afternoon last week, for weeks. Amazing, and one hopes that that will change.

We have 1500 nautical miles to Cape Horn. We have passed into the Rocky Mountain Time Zone, and more pertinent to ship operations, our Inmarsat-C has logged out of the satellite for POR, Pacific Ocean Region, and logged onto AOR-W, Atlantic Ocean Region – West (there are four satellites in all, two in the Atlantic, East and West, plus Indian Ocean Region – IOR.)

Similarly, on our high speed Fleet Broadband 250, a few days ago we were on the Asia Pacific satellite, with a declining elevation of the satellite over the horizon, and we switched to the Americas satellite, and could almost immediately see an improvement in the elevation, and signal, and every day, the satellite becoming higher in the sky over the horizon due to our movement east.

We study the weather to Cape Horn. One more depression coming along in a day and a half. We hope that we can skirt its southern side, up against the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, to minimize the wind strength that we will see.

The group ahead, although within a hundred miles, is still going faster than we are. When we had 22 knots last night, I put in a reef, but today’s more moderate conditions mean that that’s a bit slow. But within a few hours we should get more, so in my decision-making, I don’t think it’s worth the effort, and mileage lost, to do two more sail changes, up with the full main, and then back down again into a reef, which will surely be needed.

We were on Vendée Live again today, and what a nice surprise, they brought Jonny Malbon on. Jonny was in Vendée Globe 2008, and although I didn’t really know him, he kindly called when we entered the Indian Ocean, he about 150 nm ahead of us, to alert us to an iceberg he had just seen. Thereafter, we talked almost every day, through our 7 gales. It was great to talk then with him, and great to talk again today to him. He had to retire from that race in New Zealand with a disintegrating mainsail. I hope that he will return, perhaps next Vendée Globe, and race again. Nice to talk today, Jonny!

Position
53° 25’S x 111° 38’W
Course
115° True
Speed
11.4 knots
Log
19,238nm
True Wind Speed
16 knots
True Wind Direction
262°
Sails (click for diagram)
Mainsail, Fractional Gennaker,Staysail
Air Temperature
52°F / 11.1°C
Sea Temperature
51°F / 10.5°C

Winch Pedestal Revolutions (daily)Amp Hours: Alternator (total)Amp Hours: Solar (total)Amp Hours: Hydro (total)Amp Hours: Wind (total)
3882127616,1742915