Pata Negra - Anyone got some batteries?

So on Pata Negra, things on deck have been great, but not so great

below deck. We've had some significant battery / electrical issues

that have put is into battery “survival mode” whilst we try and

diagnose the issue.

This did mean for several hours the crew steering to a handheld GPS

whilst we powered everything off but we're now currently charging two

batteries to keep us going. Boats these days are so dependent on

electronics and electrical capability so when there is a problem, it

hurts – but hopefully we'll get to the finish line irrespective.

Current ETA from the routing is very late Thursday or early Friday.

It seems the high pressure across Southern Ireland really blocks our

path and we expect very little or no wind from Fastnet Rock to Lands

End. Every forecast that is downloaded, you pray that the approaching

depression moves the high out of the way, but no joy. Last few

forecasts seem to be more negative than positive. After spending the

91 Fastnet race drifting around this area in no wind, it can be

painful but lets hope we get some wind to push us through. Currently

we've about 10 knots of wind from the south.

We've also been monitoring when possible the status of the

competition. The faster boats have struggled in the high pressure

ahead and allowed us to catch them, whilst Lucy Georgina catches us on

the approaching depression. This technology, along with Sat Comms has

changed racing considerably and probably drives on the crews harder

through the race... knowing it is all to play for.

A couple of days ago we were contacted by the Tall Ship Columbia on

its way to St Malo, we sadly had to refuse their request of changing

our course so we could take a photo of them, but we had a good

conversation. When we explained we were racing and our current

position, their bridge broke out in applause over the radio – most


We've sailed now nearly the whole way across the Atlantic without a

Tack/Gype and just occasionally changed spinnakers. Will feel strange

to have the boat lean the other way in the days ahead. Least now its

sunny and dry... with the crew spread asleep throughout the boat

rather. Might be limited updates now due to the battery situation,

but hopefully we'll be in 3G range soon.

Chris on Pata Negra

Written by : Guest

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