We are now on Day 11 of Leg 6 of the Globe40 RTW race. This Leg is about 3,600 miles long from Ushuia, Argentina to Recife, Brazil, and we have about 1,800 miles to go, so we are about halfway.
The Leg has been a bit slower than expected thus far due to light winds, but we are now off Buenos Aires, Argentina and moving pretty well in a steady SE wind.
After a spectacular first few days out of Ushuia and down the Beagle Channel and then through the Straits of LeMaire and Falkland Islands, we have been offshore and have seen no other boats at all. We had one tough night north of the Falklands where we were pressing hard to take advantage of a low-pressure system that would propel us northward, but as the wind gusted to the mid 30's, we had too much sail up and had an accidental gybe in the middle of the night that was pretty hairy. The mainsail and jib get pinned "aback" against the rigging and the boat heals hard in the wrong direction as ballast is also on the wrong side, so it is a delicate operation to carefully release the sheets and allow the boat to right itself and eventually get going again and then gybe back on to the original course. We have since worked on our auto-pilot settings and things have been better.
In other news, our friends and fellow Globe40 competitors Masa and Estelle on Milai hit a "USO"… an Unidentified Submerged Object, which badly damaged their keel and mast bulkhead and has caused them to head for safe harbor at Mar Del Plata, Argentina. The damage looks to be extensive, so they are out of this Leg for sure and may be out of the race, but we won't know for sure for a few more days. This is reminiscent for me of my collision with a USO during my RTW trip in 2016, which tore a hole in the boat and caused me to divert to Piriapolis, Argentina to get hauled and make repairs. I think a lot of junk flows out of the large rivers of South America and creates a real hazard for mariners. Sec Hayai also hit something with their rudder, but it appears to be OK and they have continued racing. Our best wishes go to Masa and Estelle, as well as their teammates Andrea, Koji and Luca, who have all worked very hard and sailed the boat extremely well so far. We hope they can make it back soon.
So as we head North up the coast past Sau Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, we will face increasing East-Northeast winds, so there will be some upwind sailing in our future.... oh joy! Everything on the boat is working pretty well at the moment and we have a good battle going on with our remaining three competitors Amhas, Sec Hayai, and Whiskey Jack. Roger and I have fallen into the offshore alternating watch rhythm of eating, navigating, trimming and changing sails, repairing stuff, sleeping, and have had a few of our "Happy Hours" with a big tuna salad and a Heineken.
I think we are looking at about 12 more days at sea so arrival in Recife about Jan. 30 if all goes to plan. I finished a great John Grisham novel and am now re-reading "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer about his climbing Mt. Everest. Many similarities. Songs stuck in my head- "We all need Somebody to Lean On", Stevie Wonder's "I'll be Loving you Always", "Sweet Home Alabama" by the Allman Brothers and "Like a Virgin" by Madonna. Radio Paradise on your interweb.
So that all the news that's currently fit to print. Feel free to reply to these blogs if you like, but remember that I won't be able to read your messages until I get to shore, so it will be a while before I can respond.
Wishing you all a happy January and a great start to 2023.
Joby and Roger on GS2, January 2023