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Ocean Planet Vendée Globe Update:
Monday, January 3, 2005
Position 47 57S, 180 00E/W, @ 23:30 UT

Double Monday?

It looks like I will only get about a half hour of Tuesday before it is Monday morning again. How is this possible? Because I am crossing the International Date Line as I am writing this! When crossing the dateline from west to east, you lose a day, and from east to west you add a day.

Mondays are usually bad, but this has been one that I am okay with having twice. Today was the second day of moderate air running with our small Doyle heavy spinnaker:


To have both a spinnaker and sunshine in the Southern Ocean is really unusual! Of course, I am not as far south as most of the others, which is intentional for several reasons. First, the weather cards I have been dealt led me this way, and I also wanted to avoid the major ice zone just south of here which we are just passing.

We had a scare over these past few days as my radar had conked out. Sea water had leaked into the radar control box that is mounted in the aft compartment and it did not look good. I took the box apart several times to clean, oil, and rinse the salt out of the circuitry. It still wouldn’t run so I was resigned to not having radar for the rest of the race. In the end, I left the power on to the box even though it showed no sign of life in the hope of something happening. Nothing did, and I forgot about it after a couple of hours.

But I had left the power on and about three hours later…ping! The radar network came on and now it is working fine again. Whew! What a relief to have the Nobeltec Insight 2 radar going in spite of the abuse the box received.

The spinnaker is down now, the wind is steady, and I would like some sleep tonight which is very difficult when the kite is up. It was fun and the kite did its job to keep us in the wind, but I am relieved to have the jibs up now instead. Getting the kite down is always exciting and a lot of work….I won’t bore you with the details but you would get nervous watching the procedure!

We are just on the east edge of the approaching ridge and most of the day was brilliant sun. This is in contrast to the upwind work and murkiness we had near New Zealand just a couple nights ago. I have been very glad to stay in position in weather, for we could have been really stuck if we didn’t keep the pace. With luck we can avoid a lot of upwind in the next few days and not get too pummeled by the next storm. Stay tuned and we shall see!


Bruce and Ocean Planet

PS: here is our FIRST Monday sunset, let’s hope the second is as nice:


Be sure to check out the newest Race Report by Brian Hancock – a Bruce Schwab exclusive!

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


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