Noon Position: 48 01S 36 23W
Sail: Working jib, one tuck
Sky: Overcast, Fog
Cabin Temp: 62
Water Temp: 50
Miles last 24-hours: 146
Miles since departure: 9079
After a fantastic three-day flight, the poled-out twins came down around midnight. Wind had faded with the day and shifted north, and I couldn’t bend that rig round any more without feeling silly.
We ran till dawn with the large genoa full and free, a breeze on the port quarter just strong enough to fill it. The sail glowed like a ... Read More
|Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – Leg 4 winners
Like many other sailors out there I have become a tad obsessed with the Volvo Ocean Race tracker especially at the start and finish of each leg. And I confess that in the last few days I have been keeping a close eye on the Hong Kong entry Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag. Some that read my stuff on a regular basis will know that I am not a big fan of David Witt, the skipper, although I have never met him and he may indeed be a great guy in person. ... Read More
Bonaire: more than a dive destination? For most visitors, diving is THE reason to go, and it was certainly the lure for us to select Bonaire among the Dutch Antilles. But our planned “about a week” turned into nearly three: partly thanks to a circle of friends, but also because the island offered more than we anticipated: easy living for cruisers and non-underwater-based fun, like these beautiful flocks of flamingos. It’s much more than diving: here’s a rundown of how Bonaire hit the mark for our crew.
Welcome to Bonaire!
Clearance was among the easiest anywhere. One office, a three ... Read More
Noon Position: 48 05S 39 44W
Course/Speed: ENE 6-7
Wind: W 17
Sail: Twins poled
Sea: W to 10
Sky: Clear, bright sun
Cabin Temp: 58
Water Temp: 51
Miles last 24-hours: 179. Best single day for miles yet, I believe.
Miles since departure: 8993
I am a stranger in a strange land, an alien exploring an environment for which he is wholly unsuited, can barely comprehend. I cannot swim with the white-sided dolphins. I cannot fly with the chocolate petrel. I cannot surf the waves they both surf. Disassociated from my ship, I am dead ... Read More
Noon Position: 48 40S 43 54W
Course/Speed: SE 7+
Wind: WNW 25
Sail: Twins poled out, heavily reefed
Cabin Temp: 61
Water Temp: 51
Miles last 24-hours: 164
Miles since departure: 8754
We’ve been sailing with the twins poled out for three and a half days.
It’s a fine way to make miles.
The Commodore, whose father, Warwick Tompkins wrote 50 SOUTH TO 50 SOUTH, tut-tutted when he saw Mo’s sail configuration. His boat, Flash Girl, was undergoing a refit at KKMI in Richmond at the same time Mo and I were ... Read More
Noon Position: 48 42S 47 48W
Course/Speed: ESE 5
Wind: WNW 10
Sail: Both headsails poled out
Sky: Overcast, squalls to windward
Cabin Temp: 65 (because I’m baking bread)
Water Temp: 49
Miles last 24-hours: 89
Miles since departure: 8590
I put myself on short sleep last night because the weather forecast called for an increasing wind that would shift into the west. Both big headsails were poled out at the time, Mo could be easily overpowered, and I wanted to be ready to take action if needed.
Each hour I rose, it was ... Read More
|Scallywag approaching the finish line in Hong Kong
It was a hometown heroes welcome for David Witt and his crew aboard Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag as they rocketed into Hong Kong to take their first leg win of the Volvo Ocean Race. The racing had been intense since the Scallywag team snatched a surprising come-from-behind lead as the hunters hunted them with every bit of grit and determination, but they fended off all challengers by employing a well known inshore tactical strategy; they placed themselves squarely between those chasing and the finish line, and the tactic paid in spades. By
Team Figure 8 Made a bit of an error and missed this post. Instead of depriving you we decided you should get to read it too.
Noon Position: 51.53S 56.36W
Sail: Big genoa out full
Cabin Temp: 56
Water Temp: 47
Miles last 24-hours: 149 (previous 24-hours: 159)
Miles since departure: 8144
The south is dealing gently with me these first few days as if it can sense my ambivalence.
Wind on port quarter has been 15 to 30, and I’ve run with the working jib only, making way to ... Read More
Noon Position: 49 27S 49 11W
Sail: Both headsails poled out full, flopping around
Bar: 1002, steady
Sea: Small rollers from the N and SW
Cabin Temp: 60
Water Temp: 48
Miles last 24-hours: 92
Miles since departure: 8501
Some birds are more curious than others. The Wandering Albatross, for example, can’t be bothered. It approches until it recognizes that odd object on the horizon that is not a wave and is not a fish. “Oh, a boat; never mind.” And then it glides away with as much effortlessness as it used ... Read More
|Crewmember Alex Gough being helped back on board
Over the years I have been pretty outspoken about the use of lifejackets and safety harnesses, and have received my fair share of grief from readers who have a different opinion. Basically I view it as a personal responsibility kind of thing. You know when you need either, or both, and it should be up to you to decide what’s best for you. I am, however, having to rethink things a little after the recent man overboard incident in the Volvo Ocean Race.
We are told that the sailors racing in the