Because of her incredible speed, the Orange II maxi-cat is able to jump from island to island on her crossing of the Indian Ocean. Yesterday, it was the Prince Edward Islands that they could just about see. Today it will be the Crozet Islands that the crew will zoom by. In just two days, it will be the Kerguelens.
Although slowed down slightly by a ridge of high pressure, Orange II still has a lead of three and a half days over the round the world record. The crew is currently suffering in terms of the weather situation, but taking advantage of this to get some rest, so they can go on the attack again in fine form tomorrow. Always attentive to the requirements of the machine, Bruno PEYRON's crew will be taking advantage of a little calm weather this morning to lower the sails and give the boat a thorough check-up, starting with the mast, inside and outside. The Indian Ocean remains the toughest of the world's seas, and crossing it requires good man and boat management.
At 04:00 this morning Bruno PEYRON reported 'The situation is as forecast. We are crossing through a ridge of high pressure taking advantages of any slight changes in wind direction. We're expecting a major shift in wind direction in the next few hours. We have had a tricky transition to get through over the past four days with low speeds, stress and a zigzag route. We haven't done too badly considering. We're ideally placed to tackle the next low that is catching up with us from behind and which should take us all the way to the south of Australia. We should be clocking up positive scores again from tomorrow.
Today, it's once again a grey morning and we're making slow headway just scraping 18 knots. We're going to take advantage of this to carry out a check-up on the boat. Lowering the mainsail, climbing the mast inside and outside. That's the schedule for the next watch. The crew is benefiting from it to ease off a little. It takes two or three days to get used to the deep south, and it's very important to find the right rhythm, especially physiologically. For me, last night was the first time I have managed to sleep three hours in a row.
The next island we shall be passing will be Crozet, Possession and the Island of Pigs. Then, there will be the Kerguelens in less than two days, if everything goes well.
The crew reacted very professionally and sensibly, as we approached the ice. The ice zone isn't any further north than usual in the Indian Ocean. We're only 80 miles from the ice convergence zone. Crossing the iceberg fields during our round the world voyage could have a direct consequence on the record, but I would not hesitate a second to lose a few hours to ensure the survival of the boat and her crew.'
Day at sea: 17th
Time (GMT): 03h40
Latitude: 47 18.88' S
Longitude: 48 19.40' E
Recorded speed: 16 knots
Recorded bearing: 152
Average speed: 15.3 knots
Speed over 24 h: 18.7 knots
Distance over 24h: 450 miles
Speed since the start: 22.5 knots
Total distance: 9025 miles
Distance remaining: 16047.70 miles