Our Approach 2 May 2012

Direct from onboard:

Heading straight for Venus as the American Navy patrols their cost.


We have spent most of the day looking at the computer with blank faces. How can we beat Sec Hayai? They are storming along with their A2 and we are battling along with 50m2 less sail area. We sailed with the A4 pole out last night to try and make way dead down wind. We took the A2 out of its sock yesterday to see if we could fix it? We definitely do not have enough materials on board for that job! So we have just been plodding along slowly.


At sun set there were several ships on the radar and none on the AIS. We could see one of them on our port side. It was doing the same speed as us and appeared to be following us. We initially thought it might be the coast guard but we soon discovered the other boats on the radar. As night fell the ships did not light up. We heard aeroplanes flying around and saw little red lights flashing on the horizon. We guess it was a naval exercises. This is a real sign that we are once again approaching land and civilisation.


What were the special moments about today is the question I always ask myself at the end of the day? Today it has got to be Nick was standing on the bob stay as the bottle nose dolphins came in arms length of him. The dolphins were so close and swam slowly with the boat. We were in the middle of changing from the A4 spinnaker to the code 0 at mid night. Our tackline had worn through so we were changing it around when about 4 bottle nosed dolphins appeared. They were very big, tame, calm, dolphins that swam slowly with the boat checking us out. Swimming right under the bow and so close to the boat. Nick was on the bow sprit at the time so put his feet in the water to see it he could touch them. He never did but the dolphins did swim very closely.


We changed to the code zero at midnight under a moon lit sky. It never really got the opportunity to get dark tonight until the moon set at 04H00 local time. We were able to trim with out our headlights and it was very warm. When the moon set things changed quickly, it got dark and cool.


Sec Hayai has over taken us but as long as we finish within 24 hours of them we will take third place. Sec Hayai did a crew change on the north coast of Brazil and took a 24 hour penalty for it. The computer says that we have 62 nm to go to the finish and it will take us 11 hours or so with

10 knots of wind!! I did a routing to take into account the light airs today and it reckons 24 hours! So it is anyone’s guess right now as to when we will finally finish. But we have two challenges before we finish 1.

making sure we deal with the current correctly and 2. making the right decisions in the lights airs today.

21 Responses to Our Approach 2 May 2012

  1. Barbi Rickard May 2, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I sympathise with your frustration at your torn spinnaker. Lovely description of the dolphins, something you will always remember. ‘Min ure’, may they be less than 24 behind SC. You certainly deserve it.

  2. Janet Gibb May 2, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Well I must be reading this not long after you posted it as now you are 59 nm from Charleston. Thinking of you both.

  3. Brian & Roz May 2, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    You should enjoy Charleston, very picturesque – Roz and I were thinking of coming down from New York, but are unable due to schedule. We wish you the best and a restful layover.


  4. Dad L. May 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    At 1300 Z, I estimate your time of arrival as about 1800 Z. So we plan to drink to you then. Don’t let us down by being late, or we may need another one ! Great sailing, sad about the spinnaker.

  5. Lindsay Birch May 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
    Whatever the result, you have saied a fantastic race AND both you and the yacht are in good condition though a bit frayed here and there.
    Nothing that a shower, sleep and food and drink won’mend.
    All the best from Maji and crew.

  6. Liz and John May 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    1500 report and tracker still not showing flukey wind-which seems to have come into play. At least you have picked up some speed on Sec H.
    Not moving far from computer now….

  7. Jannie May 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Third is third. No matter at what angle. Remember the ultimate goal!!!! Finish this race in Palma first, then worry about positions. You make us PROUD!!!

  8. Len Davies May 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    The fat lady, very confused, is still paging through her sheet music in an anxious state. No matter what, a voyage well sailed! I’ll be drinking to that tonight!

  9. Barbi Rickard May 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    Well, this IS painful. You poor guys, so near, yet so far… posted 19.30 UK time.

  10. Liz and John May 2, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Soooo frustrating

  11. Barbi Rickard May 2, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    I can’t go to bed till you are over the line. Blow wind, blow. If I am tired, you guys must be exhausted. Checking every hour now.

  12. Barbi Rickard May 2, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    Under 6 miles, another hour??? Yawn… biting finger nails as well.

  13. Barbi Rickard May 2, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    Dad L must be blotto by now waiting for you to cross the line in that flukey wind… It’s midnight here in UK. Going to check once more.

  14. Barbi Rickard May 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    YOU’RE OVER THE LINE! WELL DONE! Now for a nice meal, shower and rest. Enjoy…

  15. Steve May 2, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    WELL DONE – it must have been so frustrating with the A2 out of commission. Such a difficult tactical finish. Enjoy the shower and beer!!

  16. Dad L. May 3, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    Well done !!!! We gave up and went to bed knowing you were almost there.This morning we are abit lost as we have nothing to rush to the computer for. Oh well !! 4 down 1 to go! Get an unbreakable spinnicker.
    Mum and dad

  17. Jannie May 3, 2012 at 6:37 am #


  18. Andrew T May 3, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Well Done. Enjoy your well deserved rest. See you on the next leg.

  19. Doug HS May 3, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Well done you guys! Gripping, frustrating, exciting drama to the end! 3rd is fantastic! Can’t believe after 1000’s of miles only hours separate some boats. Just shows that every minute counts and it is an amaizing feat to keep that focus for so long. Inspiring!

  20. Barbi Rickard May 3, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Well, feel a bit flat this morning. As your folks said, I also feel a bit lost, but woke up this morning knowing that you might be sleeping soundly in a bed after a nice meal of fresh food and a shower. So that was a good feeling. Please keep in touch, we think of you onshore as well you know.

  21. Matthew May 4, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    Congratulations! Well done! You did it?

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