Light wind frustration

Around Alone fleet heads for the Doldrums

Saturday October 26th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Ocean Planet update
Saturday, October 26, 2002 1215gmt
Pos: 38 08N, 09 58W

Ahoy from Ocean Planet! We are still off the coast of Portugal, fighting to get across a ridge of light air to better winds. If we can latch on to the wind on the other side in time, we can try to hang on to some easterlys for a while and get cooking to the south before the winds get messed up again. Last night was a long night consisting of a mix of tacking on shifts, bobbing around with no wind, dodging boats, and no sleep. A couple of times some big fishing boats passed so close we shined lights on each other and waved.

To give you an idea of my navigation routine, attached is a pic of my laptop with the Nobeltec charting software running. It's a little blurry in the pic, but if you look close you can see the waypoints that I enter with the positions of the other boats (the 40's & 50's for now).

A few times a day the race office sends out everyone's positions, so I like to plot them out to look at them. This is pretty easy and fast with the Nobeltec software. Then I can put a weather overlay on the chart and check out what the predicted weather is that the other boats have and analyse who I think is going the right way or not. If someone goes
particularly fast or slow for the weather that I think they have, then I can verify how off the weather prediction might be and adjust for it.

Sometimes I'm more diligent at this then others, it depends on how much sleep I'm getting or how concerned I am about whether I'm making a tactical boo boo or not...

Anyway, the wind is light but has been steady for a good hour, a relatively long time. So I might take this chance to take a nap!

Usually as soon as you lie down it changes, so you get up, shift water ballast, run up on deck, set up, tack, tidy up, check the radar and charting, and lie down again 15 minutes later. Then you hope it doesn't shift again!

Hope everyone is doing well out there, talk to ya later.

Bruce

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