Weather & tactics, plus the cable ties hang on in there.
The long slog north continues. We are beginning our crossing of the Gulf of Tehauntepec, and aiming for Acapulco on the other side.
Our stop at Acapulco is purely a logistical one, as with such a long leg and a relatively full boat, we cannot carry enough water to make the trip up to San Diego without restocking halfway, and will be attempting to refuel with diesel in order to be able to make good speed for the remaining half of the trip, even in variable winds.
We’ve a lot happening in San Diego, so it’s very important that we’re there in good time, and don’t miss any of the timeframes already set. Yesterday the boat was officially put into ‘racing mode’, with no sail change being put off, and every opportunity to make the boat go faster taken. It’s pretty much the way we run anyway, just because it’s more fun to sail like that, but now it’s the rules as well. If we could afford to, all water, unnecessary supplies, and livestock would be jettisoned, however we need the water to survive, we keep using all the supplies to fix the boat, and the team are fond of our singular livestock in Ben Lecricket. To be honest, I think there’s more chance that a member of crew would be jettisoned than Ben now.
Our course across the Gulf of Tehuantepec has been carefully formulated with the crack team at WRI to ensure we make the best progress possible, while avoiding the higher winds and sea state associated with the wind surges that are notorious with the area. In addition, they are keeping us clear of any foul currents at play, so we are much appreciative to them for keeping us moving as quickly as possible. Our nav instruments have a couple of holes in their coverage at the moment, namely being wind and accurate water speed. The latter makes it hard to gauge exactly how much current there is with or against us. However, based on the relation between the sailing conditions and speed over ground at the moment, I know we’ve got some good current with us, and I certainly don’t want to be on the other end of that any time soon!
The daily game on deck is to try and erect Connor’s old windsurf sail into functional shade, and then adjust throughout the day, to give those on deck the best chance possible of not frying into oblivion. This is much assisted by having the worlds tallest Italian, Anto, aboard. And yes Joe, he is EVEN taller than you! None of us are sure how he manages to sleep, or if he does in fact ever sleep, but he sure is useful when tying knots well above normal head height.
Anto is also our secret weapon to keep The Engineer subdued and tame, with frequent games of highly competitive and lengthy chess taking place between the two of them. Combined with constant project planning and bar graphs, this just about keeps him contained. We all fear to think what would happen to that powerful brain without chess and spreadsheets to harness and focus the energy.
So for another day, the crew, Ben Lecricket, and the genoa cable ties continue to hang on in here.
Date: 8th March 2017
Position: 10°54.8N 092°39.5W
Wind: NE 3
Sky: 3/8 cumulus
Weather: Fair, some rain in the night.
With the support of our partner Weather Routing Inc.