Since midday yesterday, the 11-man crew of the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran have finally been able to see the sky after three days of fog.
But as soon as the fog lifted, the temperature fell rapidly to zero, as the first iceberg was sighted at 47°57S, 38°39E. "What sends shivers down your spine even more than usual is that as soon as visibility returns, you spot an iceberg. So how many bergs did we sail through in the past two days?"
mused one of the watch captains.
As the convergence moves slowly south, so does Geronimo, but always staying the positive side of freezing point (between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius). Day 20 ended with over 520 nautical miles point-to-point and was the fourth day that the trimaran has clocked up over 500 miles since entering the Southern Ocean - and the same pace continued yesterady. In the first twelve hours of yesterday, Geronimo's point-to-point average was over 22 knots.
She is now 800 nautical miles ahead of the record and seems set to move further ahead over the coming days.
Thos morning, four hours after she started her 22nd day at sea on this Jules Verne Trophy attempt (at 03:17 GMT on Thursday 18 March), the position of the Cap Gemini and Schneider Electric trimaran was 47°11S, 59°18E.
At that time, her spot actual speed was 19.8 knots on a true heading of 75°, showing that Olivier DE KERSAUSON and his routers have decided avoid the active low pressure system over the Kerguelen Islands, to the southeast of the trimaran.
This option to skirt the depression by the north would seem to be confirmed by the latest position received: at 07:17 GMT today, Thursday, (08:17 French time), Geronimo's position was given as 46°38S, 61°07E. Her heading was 67° (northeast) and she was making headway at 22.2 knots spot speed.
The preference of Geronimo's skipper seems clear: to move a little further north and travel even faster rather than plunge head-on into the storm and risk having to confront a "boat-breaking" sea that could threaten the trimaran's performance and put her crew in danger.