Today we are on final approach for the equator, only 120 miles ahead. Last night we broke through the last line of big rain clouds – there was a very distinct line of them on the radar – and were then in a building southeasterly wind.
Through the night, we sailed very conservatively, but the boat was still going very well. Staysail (small jib) and two reefs in the mainsail, yet we were still making about 11 knots most of the time, and upwind into a building sea. This morning the breeze lightened up, and we hoisted the mainsail to the first reef, and then changed to the solent jib from the staysail jib.
We’ve seen one magnificent bird slowly circling the boat, and diving to skim the surface looking for food. I don’t know what it is, but will try to take a photo that can be sent to our Expert Sy Montgomery for identification.
I spoke with Andi Robertson and Marcus Hutchison today at noon for Radio Vacances. They asked about how one balances pushing competitively (we have a group of boats within 100 miles) versus maintaining the solo sailor’s need for conservative sailing. I’ve very conservative, but i’ve also had good coaches in Dee Caffari and Graham (Gringo) Tourell, who have shown me that often the boat can take more than I think she can, and that it’s ok to put up the bigger sails. Before I came on, I could hear them discussing that one of the leaders was not using all the big sails, and the reasoning was that they wanted to make sure they got to the finish, and didn’t want to take that risk right now, so if that’s the case with the ‘big guys’ up front, it’s ok for us back here too! One must always sail one’s own race, not somebody else’s.
In fact, that thought coincides with the inscription I make when I sign my book about Vendée Globe 2008-9: “Dream your dreams, and then go live them!” The idea is – don’t try to live someone else’s dream, a brother, father, sister, mother, teacher, or anybody else – make it your own dream…
2° 06’N x 29° 12’W
True Wind Speed
True Wind Direction
Solent plus one reef in Mainsail
84° F / 29°C
85°F / 29.5°
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