Route du Rhum update

Latest arrivals into the French Caribbean hotspot, Miranda Merron has an encounter + 1100GMT positions

Tuesday November 26th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Miranda Merron reports from on board her Open 60 UUDS

Good sailing yesterday, the highlight of which was meeting up with the French catamaran Born Free from the day before.

They appeared at sunset, I gybed just in front of them (never gybed so quickly or well until that moment, amazing what seven pairs of eyes can do for performance..) Yes, there are seven on board and what I would do to borrow one or two of them for the night, to look after the boat, that is.

They kindly invited me to dinner, unfortunately race rules prevented me from attending. In any case, it would have taken half the evening to get even half presentable. We have been sailing within sight of each other ever since, occasionally talking on the radio.

Initially I took a couple of miles out of them while being brave/foolish and holding on to the gennaker until it got too unmanageable. Now they are just ahead.

Earlier on, we both nearly got run over by the same ship - amazing to be on a collision course with a ship in the middle of nowhere. They just called me up to warn me about another one. Yet again, I have ignored the alarm, must sleep more during the day to get through the next couple of nights.

There are still another four hours of darkness this morning. I have seen very little wildlife, though yesterday a 30ft whale leapt out of the water right in front of the boat. About 60 feet from where I was sitting steering the boat (boat length is 60ft) close enough to see
the scars on its back. It then stayed alongside the bow of the boat for a few minutes, dolphin-like, slightly hair-raising given its size.

700 miles to Guadeloupe, a bit more to the finish since have some bizarre coastal race bit at the end, just in case crossing the Atlantic wasn't quite enough of a challenge itself.

Miranda/ UUDS 17 20N 48 59W

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