djuice finish seventh
It has been a frustrating 24 hours for the Norwegian boat and the girls as they have seen that ahead of them the first six have not only docked in Miami but their crew are now suffering their first hangovers while their boats have been already lifted and their bottoms scrubbed.
While the first six experienced reasonable winds en route to the finish, save for a calm due to a cloud hovering 10 miles off the line, djuice and Amer Sports Too were both becalmed and had to crawl up the North West Providence channel before heading off across the Straits of Florida. djuice's predicament is slightly ironic as the team used Miami as their pre-race training base and are very familiar with these waters.
Last night djuice skipper Knut Frostad sent this report:
"This is just getting worse and worse, and soon beyond what my patience can handle. All night long we have parked, moved a little, than moved backwards, parked again, and so on. For two hours we actually sailed a little through the water, but the current set us back, so in the end we stopped 100 meters behind the same place we where two hours earlier. Great isn't it? Would have liked to anchor, but we had 200 meters of depth, so that wasn't an option.
"Rounding Great Isaac was great. Eight knots of wind, upwind and pointing at Miami. Lots of hope and positive thoughts, but then again around six [o'clock] this morning, it all died again.
Now we have an interesting challenge I never ever thought I would meet. We have a southerly wind blowing about four knots. If we now head out into the Gulf Stream to cross, we will meet a southerly current about four knots strong. Four minus four is zero, zip nil, nothing...that means we will not move forward (towards the west). However, the current will still send us straight north, with four knots of speed. That means in 24 hours from now we will have been drifting to a position just east of Cape Canaveral, about 100 miles north of Miami - and then, how to get back?
One option is to try and work ourselves south on the sandbanks outside the Bahamas, as far as we can, and then, just anchor up and wait for better times to come. We could go for a swim, try some fishing (need to make up some hooks first though), play some cards (have to make them too...), and listen to some music (don't have any, but Nocka [Anthony Nossiter] knows one song he is singing all the time...).
Another option is tie down the steering wheels, point the boat at Miami. Then we all go to sleep and wait and see what happens.
Ooops. Have to get on deck. Big shift to the right. We should tack to get close to the banks...
...10 minutes later: have tacked now. Seems like some new breeze is filling in from the north. That is what we are supposed to have (according to all our weather info). However, all our models have shown northerly wind for two days now, and we haven't seen any. The same models predicted a major parking lot for the boats ahead of us, and good wind for us. The opposite happened. Not really supermodels are they?
Well, we are finally getting out in the current. I expect that we park up somewhere, but just in case we keep this wind for more than a couple of hours, we might see you in Miami - soon.
Knut and crew on djuice