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Ocean Planet Vendée Globe Update:
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Position 11 33N, 24 51W, @ 16:20 UT

Day 9 of the Vendée Globe…

Fantastic sailing!

In conditions like we have had lately, no matter what goes wrong or what can break, there is NO COMPLAINING allowed on board Ocean Planet! I don’t remember EVER having such idyllic moderate off wind sailing like the past few days. The boat loves this stuff and even though I’m taking it relatively easy (masthead kite would be pushing the envelope), we are chipping away at the boats ahead. I tossed in a sneak jibe last night to better position the approach to the doldrums and looks like my timing was perfect. Hopefully, I can close the gap on our little “B” fleet (Virbac, Skandia, VM Materials, Pro Form, Hellomoto, etc…) and pop through into the south Atlantic trades with them. Then it’s a whole new ballgame.

There is still some items to fix aboard ship, but added to the “completed” list is the autopilots which are now working as good as ever. Now that’s how I spell relief.

A couple of announcements:

As a sailor who has had to learn to write about his adventures, I have found a healthy respect for “real” writers. There are a select few who know how to tell a good sailing story, and especially rare are those that also have the personal experience to put behind the words.

Brian Hancock is one of them. Having been around the world more times than I have, and with several great books under his belt, Brian brings a unique personal perspective. He has done a bit of solo sailing himself, and so he knows how hard and how humbling it is to try to sail solo around the world.

So, I am totally excited, jazzed, and delighted to announce that Brian will be joining us with a exclusive weekly column as he follows (with a slight smirk, I am sure) my Vendee Globe adventure. Check in and get Brian’s perspective in addition to my own updates on http://www.bruceschwab.com/. You will be glad you did!

Also, whether you are a long time follower of our Ocean Planet Adventure, or if you just stumbled upon us, check out our friend and supporter Jonathan Wray’s photo archive of our Around Alone race, at http://www.bluecollarsailor.com/! It’s a PILE of great stuff, and there’s a story behind every picture. Check back to my updates archives if you wonder what the heck was going on back then….;-)

Meanwhile, our new journey is well underway. Even our guest from Portland, Maine, Rocky the Lobster is having a great time!

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


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