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Ocean Planet Vendée Globe Update:
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Position 40 14S, 59 46E, @ 11:48 UT


Well heck, that didn’t work out well at all.

Turns out that the ridge of high pressure that we had been anticipating for several days, slowed or stalled enough for Patrice and Joe to stay in front of it on starboard jibe. This morning I saw that they had caught it and knew I was stuck! It was tempting to take a desperate jibe to starboard ourselves and hope that the ridge would let us cut in front, but that would have just put us square in the middle of “bozo zone” bobbing around until it rolled by and left us watching the others zip away on the other side of the “fence.”

To have had a different result, we would have to go back a few days to where we fudged north to lessen the impact of the last front and fought our way south starting them. But even that might not have worked. If Patrice barely caught it, and we were a good 100 miles behind him, we still would have gotten stuck. Bygones!

So here we are on port jibe trying to dig as low as we can. If we jibe, we park in the ridge, and heading up (north) gives us a vmg of close to zero (or worse) to where we would actually like to head.

I think that I may have to fire my onboard tactical team of Wilson, Priscilla, and Rocky. It’s now clear that their plan was simply to get to warmer weather and sunshine:

I suppose I could complain, but of course one must make the best of all situations. So instead I agreed to work on our new quartet:


We don’t have much time to practice, as some fog is rolling in and later tomorrow some good wind from the northwest will get us going. In the meantime, we may lose some miles, but that’s the way it goes.

Also, it is a good time to go around the boat and look for wear and tear. I found a few things to repair or replace, so I was glad I looked. If it is a little smoother later, I may put in the third reef again and add hand stitch on more webbing on to the second reef clew. It is holding fine, but the more I put on the better.

Later for now,

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


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