Home > Journals > 2004 – 2005: Vendée Globe

Ocean Planet Vendée Globe Update:
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Position 38 42S, 64 15E, @ 11:48 UT

Uh oh.

All kidding aside –

My northerly excursion is looking like a bigger blunder every minute. In hindsight I should have jibed behind the ridge and taken our knocks in the hole, given what little wind and lousy heading we’ve had.

Losing miles is one thing, getting slammed by a depression is another and that is what I had hoped to avoid the most. One of the reasons I have worked north is to try to be above a depression that has been showing on the weather models. Unfortunately, the depression now looks more like a long trough extending far north with no chance of going over the top. The trough will actually intensify in a couple of days from now, and it is right where we are headed. I was up almost all night looking at ways to avoid it, but I am coming up empty.

Jibing to the south in our present wind will almost send us slightly backwards, and we might get slammed anyway. Trying to outrun the front might be an option if we were on a mega-catamaran, not for a monohull. One option is to go really slow for the next day and half and try to get behind the front before it gets really nasty.

So we might just have to tough it out, but I don’t have a good feeling about it.

At least in today’s balmy weather, I was able to get some rigging work done. I checked and adjusted my work on the second reef clew webbing and respliced a line in the vang system that had slipped. One of the small blocks on our runner “twing” (a small line that pulls the running backstay forward) was breaking so I replaced it with an Equiplite snatch block that is much stronger. Here is a shot of my sewing job up on the boom:


You can see the webbing that I’ve added to the existing webbing on the sail. The original was fine but had been cut by the reef line being too loose and was working back and forth.

While I was up on the boom, I took this shot of our Nobeltec Insight 2 Radar dome:


The Nobeltec Insight 2 radar system has been working great. The radar display is on the PC rather than on an additional display. This saved a lot of space and weight at the nav station and having the overlay on the chart is very convenient.

Okay, it’s now 1200 UT, and I need to get the latest grib files and see what I can salvage from the weather situation. Hopefully there will be a little change in the prediction that gives me some options!

By the way, if you get satellite radio, Sports Byline on the Sirius Radio Network has been doing interviews with me courtesy of Iridium. The interviews air Tuesdays and Fridays (with Ron Barr) during the 8pm (PST) show hour, and on Thursdays (with Rick Tittle) during the 10am (also Pacific Time) radio shows. If you get a chance, check’em out!

Bruce Schwab, Skipper
USA 05/Ocean Planet


Next Story