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Skipper's Logs Archive: Newport Bermuda 2006

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Light Winds & Avoiding the Northeast Gulf Stream Sweep
June 18, 2006

Good Morning

Gryphon Solo had a good second day at sea during this Centennial edition of the Newport-Bermuda race. We have traveled about 360 miles from the start to a point on the Southern edge of the gulf stream, and have enjoyed beautiful sunshine and a good sailing breeze from the southwest... until last night. The wind began to die around sunset and we have struggled since then with very light winds, although the gulf stream currents have continued to push us along with a 3 knot boost in generally the right direction, so we have been pleased with our initial routing decision to go on the more eastern side of the race course. Our fear in going the other way was that if the wind shut off - the way it has - we would have been caught in a section of the gulf stream traveling in a northeasterly direction - exactly the wrong way. That would have been ugly and I am very glad we do not have to deal with that. However, the wind has been between 4 and 8 knots all night and we are moving slowly and only occasionally directly towards Bermuda. The forecast is not a pretty picture with a big high pressure system parked in our path delivering very light winds from random directions. It could take us quite a while to negotiate the remaining 315 miles to the Onion Patch.
 
On the plus side, we have been enjoying the bright sunshine, mild temps, good food and fine company of Gryphon Solo's crew. Everyone is getting along splendidly in the tight quarters of GS's small cabin, which I am used to having to myself. Today we will refocus our energies on the Zen of light wind sailing - patience, perseverance, concentration. It sometimes takes more energy to keep the boat going in light air than in the heavy stuff due to sail changes and constant sail trimming.
 
Hey, if it were easy it wouldn't be the great adventure that it is. Just being offshore is a privilege for me and I am very grateful to be out here doing my thing.
 
Enjoy your Sunday.
Joe



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