Reporting a position of 43°46S, 07°25W on the morning of her 16th day in pursuit of the Jules Verne Trophy, Geronimo continues to maintain an actual speed of over 25 knots on an east-southeasterly heading (112° at 07:15 GMT today, 12 March).
Geronimo's skipper is avoiding the mistake made over five centuries ago by Bartolomeo Diaz in going too far south too early.
Having set sail from Lisbon with two vessels of 50 tons in 1487, the Portuguese navigator made landfall on the African coast at 29°S, left one vessel behind and continued his mission to discover the southern tip of the African continent. Beset by storms, he lost view of the coast for thirteen days, first heading south and then turning south-east. The swell was getting higher, the temperature was dropping dramatically and, as soon as the elements relented, Diaz set course to the east, where he supposed the coast to be.
Seeing no land, he turned back north, finally reaching the coast of Africa, before obstinately setting off east again, despite the fears of his crew. Noticing that the coast ran north-east, he realised that he had found the passage to the Indies. He turned around and finally reached a cape, which he had unwittingly passed during the turmoil, and which he appropriately named the Cape of Storms. When Diaz returned to Lisbon to tell his tale, King Joao II renamed this fateful promontory the Cape of Good Hope, since it was clear to him that the route to the East Indies was now open.
There are no virgin territories left for the crew of Geronimo to baptise, but a lot of shared memories have already been forged after only fifteen days at sea.
Geronimo's full position is available on her website at the address below.