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Ocean Planet Vendée Globe Update:
Monday, November 29, 2004
Position 33 35S, 20 58W, @ 11:15 UT

Now, that’s a good weekend!

Over the past few days we have had some great sailing, first by easing off to go around a forming high pressure zone, then skirting along the edge carefully watching the barometer, grib files, and clouds. The end result was some really nice offwind sailing, with the added bonus of closing the gap on the group of boats that had left us behind in the close reaching.

So, South America is fading away behind us, the water and air are slowly cooling, and the seabirds increase as we start to enter the great southern seas.

What I will be seeing, of course, is only on the surface of the ocean that we are racing across. However, there is a lot going on far below us as we begin to cross over the great Atlantic mid-ocean ridge. What happens at the bottom of the ocean is really fascinating, and you can learn about it starting on http://www.oceanplanet.org/ and www.bigelow.org/vendeeglobe. There are some strange creatures down there!

Aside from sailing, I have been busy keeping things shipshape aboard our trusty wooden “wocket.” An example of the tasks at hand is yesterday’s discovery and repair (I hope) of a tear in our rudder shaft’s neoprene gasket boot. The flexible boot is required to keep the water from splashing in through the rudder bearing in the hull, and fortunately I noticed the water before more than a couple gallons seeped in. Here are couple of pics of the process….so far it’s holding!


That’s it for now. Don’t forget to visit http://www.oceanplanet.org/, and tomorrow I’ll clue you in on where to find some more fantastic undersea adventures with our young friend “Capt’n Eli.”

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


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