Past the Canaries

One very fast circumnavigation is in the making on Geronimo

Wednesday February 20th 2002, Author: Geronimo, Location: Transoceanic
Latest position at 1351, 20 February
16.92W 29.03N

With weather conditions still very much in her favour, Geronimo is maintaining her pace. After just 60 hours at sea, she has, to Olivier de Kersauson's great satisfaction, already passed Palma in the Canary Islands. "The last time we did this, in 1997, it took us four days to get this far, so we could hardly be happier with the way things are going. It's fantastic!" commented the skipper.

The only minor drawback is that de Kersauson would have preferred a slight change of wind direction, which would have avoided any need to sail between the islands. "I've always been wary of these islands. They can have some strange effects and you can find yourself being slowed down quite significantly by lack of wind in the lee of some of them".

Rough seas

Before making this tricky passage between the islands, Geronimo continued her apparently effortless high speed run across the ocean. While obviously happy with this situation, the captain of the Cap Gemini Ernst & Young - Schneider Electric team was careful not to get carried away. "We have somewhere between 30 and 37 knots of wind at the moment and the resulting rough sea is not easy to sail. If it gets any rougher, we may have to put a reef in the mainsail".

Trying to get some rest

Everything seems to be going well with the crew as the ten Geronimo crewmembers gradually fall into their race rhythm, although they are perhaps finding it difficult to rest the moment they go below deck. "They're still visibly a bit tired", says Kersauson. "With the result that we've seen a few lapses, especially in terms of safety, so I've had to bark at them a bit. But apart from that, everyone's pretty happy". It's a general feeling of satisfaction that undoubtedly comes from the boat's amazing progress down the long stretch of the Atlantic Ocean.

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