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Battle of the Bulge
December 4, 2015

Hello Friends-

Welcome back to the Battle of the Bulge- one man’s attempt to get around the Northeast corner of Brazil and sail to freedom! By freedom I mean- hopefully- some downwind sailing after more than 10 days of upwind sailing.

However, the Bulge is not giving up easily. Last night the wind went light and into the southeast- right where I want to go- causing me to have to point the boat straight towards the coast of Brazil, which is not an area I want to be in due to a... strong south-flowing (adverse) current and a lot of fishing boat traffic. If I got in too close and had to tack- it would be an ugly tack to the Northeast- basically away from my destination and quite disheartening. Fortunately, it appears I may escape that fate, but the next 30 hours will tell.

Rewinding the tape a bit- two momentous occasions occurred earlier this week: First, I made it to my Leg One waypoint of the 10 Leg RTW voyage in the predicted time of 15 days on November 30th- so that felt really good- basically on schedule. However, that buzz was brief as the next milestone- and arguably a bigger one- was crossing the equator, which occurred at 6:00 AM EST on Thursday December 3rd.... that would be yesterday! So big doings this week and now the next trick will be getting around the Bulge and hopefully romping off to the south in pursuit of my competitor Henrik.

Henrik- oh yeah- Henrik. He has been quietly kicking ass- quite a way to the East of me given his European start point- sailing in more favorable downwind breeze than I, so he is roughly 640 miles to the south and east of me at the moment. I believe that he may run into an area of high pressure and light winds so may need to head west to stay in the breeze, which would cause our positions to consolidate further down the coast of Brazil. It would be great to get the two boats closer to one another for some closer racing in similar conditions, but that may take a while to develop, if it develops at all.

So- standby to see who wins in tonight’s horror flick, "Joey against the Bulge". I will be sailing between the two small islands of Fernando de Noronha tonight if you want to check your globe or the tracker. I might even see land- or at least a light- that would assure me that humanity still exists. Life in this little solitary bubble can get kinda weird.....

Cheers
Joe



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