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9 February 2005, 10:40 am
Ice On The Right And Calms On The Left
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Orange II

After spotting their first icebergs on Tuesday afternoon, the crew of the maxi-cat Orange II have turned northeastwards to stay on the northern edge of the dangerous ice zone.
'Sailing on a tightrope. We have to avoid the calms on our left and the ice on our right,' Bruno PEYRON admitted during his radio link-up. At 04.00 (GMT) this morning, Bruno PEYRON and his men were passing seven miles off Marion Island, a small volcanic island 19km long and 12 km wide, whose highest crater reaches 1230 m. Swept by the strong winds in the Roaring Forties, the island, which belongs to South Africa, is populated by families of penguins, petrels, albatrosses, cormorants and other species specific to these latitudes.

However, the crew hardly had the time to study the island through the early morning drizzle. Just after passing this island, Orange II should be gybing again towards the north east to get out of this inhospitable area and get in position for the next low. After being slowed down a little late yesterday afternoon, the maxi-cat has picked up speed again. The crazy pace means that they are extremely busy with tiring manoeuvres and have to be particularly cautious.

Bruno PEYRON said this morning, 'We're in the usual series of low-pressure areas. We're between two lows, in a narrow zone, where we have to avoid the calms on the left, which are caused by a ridge of high pressure, which is building, and the ice on the right. We're waiting for the next low and trying to get in the best latitude. You have to be able to slow down sometimes to accelerate away later, so for the moment, this is offering some relief to the boat and the crew. You can see the tiredness. So you need to be sensible about that and adjust the boat accordingly. We're not far from the Fifties South. This is the sort of place you don't want to hang around in. It's a hostile universe, where everything is grey, mist and drizzle, and even the sea is grey too. Because of the ice, we're going to have to prolong the route somewhat by heading a bit further north. The seas coming on the beam are not favourable to high speeds, but if we manage 450 miles, that will be a good average. We will be able to step up the speed later...'

Orange II Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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