Home > Journals > 2004 – 2005: Vendée Globe

Ocean Planet Transatlantic update:
1200 UTC, September 28, 2004
Position 46 51 N, 47 13 W.
Wind: WSW at 7-10kts, slowly backing.
Heading: 102 T, speed 9-10kts.

Catching the bus

We have jibed onto starboard early this morning as anticipated. As the center of a ridge of high pressure has slowly rolled by, the wind is changing to the SW from yesterday’s light NW’rlys. A long long trough of low pressure is forming behind us and over the next day very strong SSW wind will build.

This will make for some very fast sailing in windy power reaching conditions. Perhaps excessively fast, as the wind could build to as much as 40kts or more. But we are happy with our timing as we have snuck thru the adverse hurricanes and storms that have plagued the center of the atlantic and would have blocked our path with headwinds or worse. The high pressure to the SE of us will hopefully keep Tropical Storm Lisa far to the west as we skate towards France.

If we were racing, I would have gone further N before jibing, to get into the coming SW wind sooner and deeper. But we are not racing, so by hanging more to the S and closer to the building high pressure we will have a bit less of a blow.

Last night we sailed between two HUGE oil exploration platforms on the eastern side of the Grand Banks. The two rigs were about 20 miles apart but the enormous flames from the oil that they were burning off lit the clear night sky so that it seemed they were right next to us. We talked about how they must be clearly visible from outer space on such a cloudless night. I tried to take some pics but this is the best I did:

Below is a shot of our ‘twin’ headsails (heavy reacher and working jib) yesterday. Rather than further wear out our old genniker I am using the heavier jibs for the trip across. Still hoping to find the funds to replace some old sails at the last second!


We also still need to raise the funds for the required liability insurance for the race. Although there is no way we’ll be able to insure the boat itself (really expensive!), but thanks to a special deal from Craig Chamberlain at Mariner’s Insurance we can enter the race if we can pay the reduced premium. All I can do at this point is get the boat to France and hope that the funds magically arrive….;-)

That’s it for today, hopefully we will be “hauling the mail” tomorrow!

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


Next Story