This report is a tale of two races. For the first 24 hours I think we covered over 300 miles for nearly a 13-knot speed average. We had a solid SouthWest wind just aft of the beam and we were pouring it on with full main and reacher. During the night the wind speed hit 30 knots and Brian made me take down the reacher, which I agreed to reluctantly as it had delivered such great results. Friday around mid-day we were surfing through the Gulf Stream at about 17 knots with water flying everywhere when suddenly the wind machine turned off. The breeze went from 22 knots to 7 knots in the space of five minutes. The clouds disappeared, the sun came out and we were bobbing around about 20 miles in to what was expected to be a 60-mile passage across the stream. The Gulf Stream is like a big river running through the Atlantic with hot water and the current velocity is about 3.5 knots. When there is little wind, you go where the Gulf Stream takes you and that is precisely what began to happen.
About 50 miles and 13 hours later, we finally found some wind and were able to tack out of the stream and head back towards Newport. You can imagine our frustration with the situation, but there was not a darn thing we could do. So now, having finally escaped the clutches of the treacherous Gulf Stream, we are in light winds from directly behind us from the South East, as we are trying to head North West. Not a pretty picture as the glassy ocean heaves and sighs as far as the eye can see, and the sun blazes down.
Okay, that's enough whining. We will make the best of the situation and scratch and crawl our way through the remaining 255 miles to Newport as quickly as possible....... but it looks like we could be out here for a while. A hoped for Sunday finish is probably not in the cards, unless something changes drastically.
Here's wishing that tomorrow will be a better day at the office!!