Thursday, December 16, 2010

Upwind in Lots of Wind

After the a morning of very light wind making our way out of the shadow of Table Mountain, everything changed and now I am bashing upwind in 25-35 knots of wind. It has been about 5 hours of this, and I am hoping the fleet makes it through this unscathed. I have a 3rd reef in the mainsail and the staysail up for now. Going from the docks and mellow start into these conditions is intense to say the least. Le Pingouin seems to be taking the punishment well. I am certain the delayed start was a good idea, as I can’t imagine what this run would have been like a few days ago. It is supposed to lighten up and I may be parked Fri-Sunday, which will be equally frustrating. I am anxious to head east! Thanks for checking in.


The Start at Last

The forecast was disappointing and it became obvious quickly that starting Leg 2 of the VELUX 5 OCEANS on Sunday, December 12, was going to be dangerous. Severe weather conditions at the Cape of Good Hope and in the Agulhas Current would bring damage to my boat or others. I find it a difficult place to be. I’m ready to go. The boat is ready. It has been strange being geared up and ready to go and not being able to take off. I’ve been trying to stay in the groove and remain mentally fired up to start, especially considering it is a leg of the race that will send us into heavy weather. I’ve been waiting for the word from race admin to go and it finally is here today.

It appears we will have light conditions. It is no secret that the entire fleet will aim to get south as quickly as possible. I look forward to hitting the westerly winds that prevail in the Southern Ocean. The extended forecast looks pretty good for the first week with consistent westerlies. The huge storm that prevented our original start last weekend has moved off now to the west leaving mellow conditions for the next few days.

One of the nice things about the delay in starting out of Cape Town is that I got to see the wedding of Jeffrey Wargo, my Project Manager and friend, who tied the knot yesterday in the winelands of Stellenbosch. Congrats to Jeffrey and Lizzie!

Stay tuned for more news as I leave the dock and sail south. Cheers,