Kingfisher dives south

Ellen attempts to reduce the miles across the Southern Ocean

Friday February 21st 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
1500 GMT 20.2.03 (position taken at 1500 GMT)
Position: 46 45'S 37 20'E (sailing south of Marion Island located approx 2185 miles SE of tip of South Africa)

Compared to the track of other recent Jules Verne contenders, Kingfisher2 is currently considerably further south. This is both to find more wind and reduce the number of miles that must be sailed to a minimum.

"Conditions right now are just magnificent - sun, nice breeze, blue skies," commented Ellen MacArthur. "We are just sailing south passed Marion Island doing about 16 knots of boat speed - bit slower than earlier today - but we are sailing downwind in really beautiful conditions. We have no choice now but to go south perhaps as far as 51 south, but we may have to come back north a bit tomorrow night or the next day when the next low tracks in at 49S from the west. At the moment all the routing shows we should pass south of Kerguelen Islands but we are still too far away to say for sure."

Water temperature has dropped a couple of degrees to 7 degrees at the moment. "This is not a zone renowned for icebergs but you never know," said MacArthur. "Earlier today we had a thick mist and visibility was really poor so everyone is being really vigilant."

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