If John Dennis didn't have bad luck he would have no luck at all. It seems as if the Canadian skipper is getting caught by the South Atlantic High, something all the other boats have to date avoided.
His current wind speed and direction are the very reason all the boats sailed south with a wary eye on the massive high pressure area to the east. This morning Bayer Ascensia was sailing along at less than 3 knots. "It has been a very slow twelve hours as the wind went very light,"
he wrote. "The average wind speed was 1.2 knots all afternoon and evening. I replaced the Code 0 and staysail and ran off under my masthead chute all afternoon and it is still up and doing it's job. Wind is now 3 knots. Speed 3.1. Heading south to try and find more wind."
This is the longest ocean passage John has ever sailed. It has been 39 days since he left Torbay, England and with 2000 miles still ahead of him, he is looking at another two weeks at sea. The long passage has allowed John plenty of time for introspection. "I have had a great deal of time to think about many things while out hear such as what might I have done differently with my life,"
he wrote. "How might I have done this race differently? Would I do this race if I had the decision to make again? Why would I do it? I do a lot of talking to god. if you were out here alone and saw the magnificence and beauty of this wide, wide world every day as I do you would realize that there has to be a supreme being. I talk to my deceased father as he was truly my best friend as I grew up. I had few friends my age."
To the south of Bayer Ascensia, Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of yukoh was enjoying slightly better conditions. He is just far enough south of the high pressure to be in steady, if not strong winds. The long passage has also allowed Kojiro time to enjoy the surroundings. "Lately the sky is beautiful and pleasing to the eye,"
he wrote. "By this I mean the air is beautiful. Because there is no pollution out here the outline of the moons rays is so distinctive that the line is dead straight. The colour scheme of the sky is so deftly purple that it looks like an artists palette. It feels like the air in the Southern Hemisphere is so much clearer than the Northern Hemisphere. Last night's full moon and today's sunrise have to be some of the greatest sights I have ever seen! I hope these images will help the world to see how beautiful the world can be without pollution."
Positions at 1400 GMT, 22/11/02
||Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America
||Spirit of Canada
||Spirit of yukoh