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Ocean Planet in the Around Alone – Update
Friday, May 2, 2003 1200gmt
Position 36 57 N 65 59 W


Hi all,

Sheesh! Looks like we are going to have 1.5 days of the most challenging sailing of this entire trip just to get to the darn finish. After struggling in light winds for days that seemed to descend on us like a blanket, now we have plenty and then some. For me, Brad, and Thierry, here are the main issues we must now deal with:

  1. ) Crossing the notorious Gulf Stream, hopefully before getting pounded by: 
  2. ) An intense low pressure storm heading right for us at 20+ knots with up to 40kt winds. 
  3. ) Increasing vessel traffic in diminishing visibility. 
  4. ) Not running into each other, since we are apparently all headed for the same spots. 
  5. ) Countless fish traps, buoys, fishing boats, and assorted flotsam as we near Newport.

Just jibed onto port jibe after a very fast night. Late yesterday, we FINALLY got into the new building breeze, so we really had to put the pedal down to have any chance of staying in front of Thierry (and also hopefully pass in front of the worst of the storm). So I flew the big masthead kite almost all night making great time. Took it down a few hours before daylight as with the building wind it was getting a bit dicey. Right now we have up the big genniker and the main with one reef in about 20kts. We’ll hang onto this as long as we can and get the genniker out of there in a hurry as the storm approaches.

I really want to beat Thierry, but it will be tough. His boat is fast, and he is a formidable sailor as one would expect of the 1990 mini-transat winner and multiple circumnavigator. Also, I don’t want to break anything as we have unfortunately run up a lot of bills on this trip.

It was a miracle to make the starting line last September, and without your support, and everyone’s help in Brixham, Cape Town, Tauranga, Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, and finally Salvador, I wouldn’t be in the race. Believe it or not, I’m afraid the hardest part is to come after I finish, when I somehow need to raise enough money to make the bill payments and not have to sell Ocean Planet.

But I still can’t wait for that finish line!

Bruce, Wilson, Priscilla, and Ocean Planet


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