A Boston finish is just not going to be acceptable to the
Jules Verne committee. So why are we heading for the New World, instead of the
Near the Azores there is going to be a great expanse of
light winds associated with the High Pressure, and therefore we are having to
head well West to catch the wind from an approaching low pressure system that
arrives from the the West. Then ride that wind all the way around the High
Pressure to the finish. It's the Long Route, but it's our best option. At least
with the speed of Banque Populaire we can position ourselves quickly around the
oceans weather systems. We are rather like a surfer who has to paddle out
further offshore as a big set arrives..it's going to be worth it - when that
atmospheric wave arrives..
On deck it's great conditions, we are sailing at 120 TWA
in 28 knots of wind With the staysail and one reef in the main. The sun is
shining and it's a pleasure to steer the boat at 30-40 knots of speed.
We are at the latitude of Antigua, but it's not shorts
and T shirt sailing on board today..We need full on protection from the flying
spray, so we are wearing our Musto foul weather top and trousers, and donning
Gath surf helmets to be able to look forwards..
The spray flies off the front of the central hull each
time it lands back in the water, then divides around the front beam and flies
back horizontally to hit the cockpit area..for the big lumps of water, it's
worth ducking, as the force in the water can knock you backwards..
With the surf helmet, which is like a light motorbike
helmet, you gain a lot more vision for helming without the spray firing into
your eyes, but you do lose out on 2 others senses, that of hearing, you miss
out on what others are saying around you, and of touch, feeling the wind speed
on your face..
But it's a deal well worth making..
Now we are concentrating on intercepting that low
pressure and riding it till the finish..
New Years Eve went well last night, no wild nights for anyone,
but we did add to our normal freezedried food with some pate de foie gras and
some saucisson to start..Day 40 on Cheyenne, the big catamaran that we set the RTW
record in 58 days, with Steve Fossett, we were just rounding Cape Horn, on St
Patricks Day.. On Day 40 of the Vendee Globe solo race, I was somewhere
south of Australia..
It's good to be on Banque Populaire!"