There is high Stress Aboard Kingfisher2 as she sails unavoidably in to an area of light and unstable winds.
"when you are only sailing at 10 knots, you know you are losing 7 miles an hour, thats 70 miles in 10 hours. Its very hard to deal with. Although its a record attempt, I think losing miles like this is even harder than when there is a real boat next to you,"
a frustrated Ellen commented this morning.
THE area is expected to last in to Monday night, before the Trade Winds kick back in properly and propel KINGFISHER2 towards the Equator. These conditions are hard for the crew, sailing with full main and gennaker, sudden squalls (wind increasing from 5 knots to 25 knots) require permanent attention.
" GERONIMO has completed the first 3rd of the Jules Verne, and is a good
way across the Indian Ocean heading towards Cape Leeuwin, Australia. She has
maintained a lead of about 1000 miles over the record of Orange.
Latest Email from Ellen
A frustrating night sitting out here looking hour after hour at the weather graphs which are certainly not always in our favour. The wind in the last few hours has averaged less than 10 knots and our boat speed average has been down to 13 knots over the last 3 hours. As I study the satellite pictures and grib files it seems almost unbelieveable that in all the miles of ocean around us - in fact the thousands of miles - that we should have to sail through this little bubble of light winds. The weather gods have left us with no choice, the light patch has descended upon us. Our progression over the last few days is now more precious to us than we were hoping it would have to be. We at least have a few hundred miles of easting to make before worrying too much about running too close into the african coast and the islands... As each little puff of wind presents itself to us its a little breath of hope. The sounds of the guys talking through the intercom in the cockpit seem instantly happier, and the noise of the water rushing past our hull is like music to our ears. As I speak to Meeno our weather router he always says that he listens first for the sound of the water running alongside the boat before he hears my questions or remarks, if the sound from the boat is akin to a heathy flowing mountain stream then things are generally OK. Now that noise is quieter....let's hope the following 24 hours are better!
Inside the cabin I am now sitting in just one layer of thermals, and with the water temp at 22 degrees life is refreshingly more civilized than life over the last few days. It was a cold start to our recod attempt, but even colder over the months leading up to our trip working long hours on KINGFISHER2 to get her ready for this testing voyage. I lost count of the mornings where her decks were covered with ice as we begun work at the old submarine base in the winter twighlight. Like with so many of these projects there has been no lack of energy, enthusiasm and heartache gone into it's sucess...
Lets hope that over the next few hours the wind turns to be in our favour... There's still a very long way to go.