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Ocean Planet in the Around Alone – Update
Saturday, March 15, 2003 1300gmt
Position: 26 33.5 S 38 57.4 W
Wind: S at 4-7kts
Heading: 330T at 5-8kts


Hi all,

Last night was beautiful, but frustrating and boring at the same time. The wind shut down for hours as we tried to get across a trough hoping to find some new breeze on the other side. No dice as this morning’s weather showed the mild high pressure receding away out of reach. Oh, well, back to Plan A. Jibed back to port towards the NW. This will take us closer to land and the oil rigs, but we might still pick up some northerly winds to allow us east before it gets too smelly. Talked to Brad the other day about dodging the oil rigs, and it doesn’t sound like much fun. He told me about sailing through thick oil sludge and the smoke from the constant flames burning on the rigs. Risky business on our Ocean Planet, we all need to be careful…

It’s nice that this boat is good in light air. Most boats would be completely parked in this (lack of) wind! It’s a chance to twiddle with a few things like adjusting the lashing on the uppers runners, which I had too tight. Tim and Koji will likely catch up a bit until the wind comes back, then we’ll take off again.

One of the things I have been wondering is how many boats have raced around the world with an unstayed rig? Not any that I can think of right now, but I imagine someone has. Our unstayed rig has been a huge success. I like to sit at the base of the rig on deck and just watch it work. After a long career working with conventional masts, I will never go back! Shrouds are just “training wheels” for a real mast as far as I’m concerned now…;-) When it comes to freestanding masts, I have been delighted to work with Ted Van Dusen of Composite Engineering who built ours. He has worked together with our designer Tom Wylie a lot and they got the stiffness just right. Ted uses a special epoxy resin developed by MAS epoxies to “infuse” the carbon laminate when building these special masts. Big thanks to Ted and MAS epoxies!

Bruce and Ocean Planet and crew


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