From The Deck Of Prospector 09 July 0000z

Just a quick note before heading to bed.  We had a relatively uneventful

day.  That was exactly what we needed after Wednesday’s excitement. 

We spent most of the day sailing towards the Lizard at 12-15 knots boat

speed in 20-25 knot

We are more than half way to the finish, our computer says we have 1193 miles to go, which isn't too bad. We've had our ups and downs, but it's a long Transatlantic Race with plenty more to more to come.

Today was a pretty good day. The mainsail is fixed, the storm is gone and we had a spinnaker up all day. So all in all it's going pretty well, but we're not keeping up with Visit Brussels. They are a bit ahead and north of us in a little different wind, we will keep after them and keep pushing.

The mainsail repair didn't come out very pretty, but it will do. It's tough to sew standing on the deck pitching about. I must have stuck myself 20 times with the needle.

I've included a few photos of the sail repair and sea state along with a pod of dolphins we saw earlier today.

That's about all for now.

Cheers,
Rob 
Toothface2

We have approximately 1,000 miles to the finish and the A4 sail is up on Starboard tack. After four days of grey skies and breeze up above 25 knots, we're finally seeing a little change of weather with the skies slightly clearing. However, the water is still choppy and cold with the temperature around 65 degrees. I just overheard Giles at the helm telling Matt we are averaging ten knots over the ground.

Tonights on-board report from Brian Thompson: We are now beating upwind on stbd with one reef and J2 and very happy not to be becalmed anymore! From shorts and T-shirts to full foul wet weather gear today  Saw Rambler today 4 miles on our beam..When the wind finally came we pulled away. should have wind now to the finish line.,so time to catch some boats, starting with Comanche!  Everyone feeling good and is healthy..

Long and frustrating day both yesterday and all last night but we got the fat bottomed girl moving a bit better in light air.  Yes we were drifting at times.  But we are going much better overall in under 6 knots since the boat was launched.  It is so much about sea state.  We had no oncoming waves when it was really light and it made a huge difference in overall performance.

Got out to about 44 mile lead on Rambler at one stage last night but then the yo yo happened and we had to sail up and around a high pressure bubble that was dissipating, but none the less it was obvious on the grib files and right in our path (very little wind).  For us it was much more of an issue than for the  Rambler as by being there sooner we had to sail many more miles to get around it.  But that is life in the ocean.  Rambler reeled us in as we entered the edge of the high pressure as expected and now we are FINALLY out on the other side heading for the ice gate. They will be able to cut the corner of the bubble of light wind and have a much better angle sailing to the ice gate.  Currently we are in about 15 knots of wind essentially close hauled on starboard tack with 270 miles to go to the southwest corner of the gate.  Then we bear off and head toward England, finally, and the breeze starts to increase with a broad reach and run in strong winds.  If all goes well we should pretty much take that breeze to the finish. 

Waiting now to see how far we can extend on Rambler before she gets out of the light air.  Can we extend enough to keep our 40 something mile lead as she reaches faster to the gate?  Only through the eyes of our guardian angel is this known.

All good onboard.  Team great.  Standard ridiculous stories being told.

It’s good to be offshore. 

Hope all is well in the real world.

Kenny Read Skipper, Comanche

Hi All,

Ross here this time, thought I should write something at last! Kirsty has been doing a fantastic job on her blogs, mine may not be quite as well written apologies in advance!

Shearwater heavy weather photos:

These photos don't quite do justice to ocean conditions but when the seas were really rough, we were too busy to take pictures!

Shearwater has completed several repairs to failed equipment. We used the block & tackle from a running backstay to build a new boom vang (great until we need the staysail!). Gretchen & Mark sew a leach tape/cord on the torn Mainsail leach. This should hold together so long as conditions are moderate.

To all our avid followers of daily life aboard the rocket ship Grey Power we have to admit that we have for the last few days been leading you up the garden path somewhat! For those of you who are unfamiliar with what happens up the garden path please feel free to refer to the internet or even ask your grandmother about the delights of the invitation to "walk the garden path" with the boy from next door! Like most things in life nothing is ever quite as you would have been told!

With our minimalist triple reef and J5 sail plan we pushed on through the night. As advertised weather conditions eased as the night wore on. By 0400z we were underpowered in 25 knot winds and a settling sea. We debated changing to a more powerful sail combination. Ultimately we decided to hold off on any sail changes until daybreak. Underpowered as we were, we were still gaining on our competition because we were in stronger wind.

At 0600, as the sun rose silhouetted by of the cold front that had passed over us during the night. Though a few squalls remained about in the cold front’s wake, they were leaving us alone and it was time to be less conservative. First Lindsay Vonn (the J5) came down and the Jib top went up. It was shortly followed by the Genoa Staysail which Scotty had expertly repaired. Finally we began unwinding the reefs, one at a time, until we were back in a full main.

It is gorgeous out here this morning. We are in 25 knots of wind at 250 true. The sea has settled down. The crew, in great spirits after a difficult 18 hours, are settling back in to their normal routines.

Colette made us a breakfast skillet, which most ate on deck. Larry had a pre breakfast surf fest, freed to play with the waves again in the calmer conditions. We are back on the attack again.

Evening team

A very quick note to say all is well.

The race between ourselves and Carina is really tight and there is really nothing in it right now. Its going to go to the wire. Every time we get a new schedule of results there is under 0.1% between the two boats on corrected time.

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