Heading for the High

Will the Azores high reform according to Bruno Peyron's plans? James Boyd thinks it will

Sunday April 28th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
Nick Moloney reports from on board Orange

I am losing confidence in an ETA on my birthday but that's okay. I have spent birthdays at sea in the middle of the North Atlantic before. Actually it could be a good omen. In 98 I turned 30 during leg 8 of the Whitbread from Baltimore-La Rochelle and we won that stage of the event ....oh well, we will see.

It's mid morning. It's dark but we have an incredible full moon. We are awaiting the wind to build and have been all night but we are still upwind in between 5 and 10 knots TWS. We are still heading NNW at around 12 knots. We are beginning to see signs that our painful progress is an actual gain on the finish. The sea temperature dropped 3 degrees yesterday and as soon as the sun fades for the evening, it's straight into mid-layer thermals. We are nearly 14 deg N in latitude now, The finish off Ouessant is approximately at 48degN.

We opened our last week bag of sundry items: ketchup, toilet paper etc and we have another seven days worth of food remaining. I believe that today we will
begin rationing.

It appears that we have a few more days of this wind direction and heading. This is far from ideal but could be worse. Then we should begin skirting the north edge of the Azores High bending our course more directly towards Brest.

Benoit just crept out of the darkness of the hull and frightened the life out of me by bursting through the waterproof screen protecting the media suite. I am sure somebody also strategically placed a dead flying fish at the companionway for me to tread on in barefeet on my way to write this log.

The boys must be trying to distract themselves from the mast issue. Its okay though, as I have set the fresh water outlet in the starboard galley in a direction that when someone steps on the pump they are going to cop a high pressure soaking at around chest height. I'm a little anxious to finish this mail and monitor that one for a while to see who wears it first. A bit of humour goes a long way right now on board.

The mast it getting noisy again. The wind is forecast to build up to 20kts over the next day or so which will bring a reasonable-sized sea for us to negotiate. Yves [le Blevec] has done a great job with the repair so we will see how it all holds up.

There is a very definite red tinge to everything on board right now due to the amount of red dust from the Sahara desert that has been settling on board. Actually looks like our boat is rusting away.

I'm beginning to look forward to the finish.


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