Pata Negra - Goodbye wall of ice

Currently just approaching the last of the Ice Markers... we've been

having a right laugh (in our shorts and teeshirts) about the wall of

ice, just 8 miles to Port and what would happen if we actually ran

into it. (Note-race committee - we're just jesting!)

Last 48 hours have been lots of sunshine, Starboard kite / A0 reach in

15knots of wind. Pata Negra loves this with its hard chine and wide

transom and we've had speeds upto to 16.5 knots (by Scarlett). Sea is

incredibly flat considering the currents and we're in the middle of

the atlantic.

Andy's been working extremely hard again after the holding tank to the

Starboard heads blocked. Sorting this out was a huge task and an

extremely messy / smelly one. He's bullet proof though and worked his

way through it (getting a full fresh water shower at the end). He gave

himself a full covering of alcoholic hand sanitiser just to make sure

too! We're in good shape now till the end of the race we hope.

On the weather situation, things are difficult. The high pressure

building ahead means the second half of this race is going to be VERY

SLOW! Simulations show we expect to finish between Thursday and

Saturday (13th July). This is does mean that Giles (who owns the

boat) can't also do the RORC St Malo race on the 12th of July, some of

the pro crew are missing their next ride / delivery and Rob & Mark may

not make the airport to get back to Australia. On the other hand,

the simulations also so a massive depression forming in the middle of

the atlantic late next week which means the slower boats will catch us

up (though it looks rough for them). Depressions are difficult to

forecast though this far out and it may change dramatically...

hopefully giving us some wind up the english channel!

After all the work this morning, the others covered my watch whilst I

caught up on some sleep. Jens (who shares my watch) has been a

brilliant buddy throughout the last week. I'm often below getting the

meals ready so others cover and Jens is alway there ready to help.

He's from Finland where his love of sailing means he frequently sails

alone around the Baltic and has dreams one day of single handed non

stop circumnavigation. Certainly got the strength of character for

such a challenge.

So we press on trying to catch / keep up with Teasing Machine & The

Kid ahead of us. In 40 miles though, good bye Ice Markers - Hello

North Atlantic Ocean.

Chris on Pata Negra (not so smelly pig now)