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Skipper's Logs Archive: Transat 2004



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Into the Calm
June 2, 2004

Another busy day at the office out here! Conditions have been changing rapidly and it has kept me on my toes. I sailed into a major calm at about 0300 last night and was basically becalmed or moving less than 4 knots until about 1100 this morning. Very frustrating. Particularly since the position reports indicate my rival Kip Stone on Artforms was still moving further North while I was parked. He eventually slowed as well but some damage was done, and I will need to make it up.

The day was spent navigating and studying the GRIB weather files, changing sails, and making a few calls home to the fam and to the shore team regarding stuff that's not working. Before you know it the day is gone. I found the calm very depressing and have been second-guessing myself for the decision to go South, but I thought the new Southwest breeze might fill in first for me and maybe it did by a little. I find I am still pretty keyed up and run around changing trim and sails and poring over the routing when I probably should be getting more sleep. My mind is racing when I lay down and it takes a concerted effort to clear away the noise. Food helps and I did have a good dinner last night - the new version of the Alpine Aire self-heating meals (which are a bit bizarre in that the little package starts steaming from some internal heat source. I thought maybe aliens were inside) but they got hot and tasted good. Breakfast of granola cereal with Parmalat milk and for lunch, a tuna with onion and mayo sandwich - absolutely mahvelous.

A few minutes ago, I made a big effort to get the gennaker on deck and set, only to have the wind go forward causing me to have to take it back down. At least I executed the maneuver smoothly, although the wind was pretty light. I rolled it up on the furler and it is still up there ready to go. I think I should get it down as it is extra weight aloft and the forecast calls for wind forward of the beam. Basically trying to follow the Great Circle route to a waypoint just before the Grand Banks, dealing with two large low pressure systems and the decision about how close to get to the coast of Newfoundland and the possible ice around it. The Canadian reports say the ice has been dissipating rapidly, but I think we should all be wary of satellite images alone. But that's a ways off -first have to sail another 1,000 or so miles!! I'd best get back to business here. Cheers to all.



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