March 7, 2012-Race to Brazil
On Monday night we made our move; decisively.
We'd gone south for a week, we'd passed the imaginary turning mark on the chart, and we had successfully skirted the lightest of the winds around the low up north. We had gained a good slant on the boats behind which were stubbornly still sailing a direct course right through the low. But we were now over 150 miles to the south and that represented a lot of distance to make up and there was new wind coming; the South Atlantic High was rebuilding. If that filled in if we weren't clearly in front this would simply turn into a drag race which we could easily lose. We had to consolidate.
The wind was still light when we jibed over and at first going north wasn't easy. The breeze was fitful, the seas awful, and through the night we struggled. I swore at the gods of the sea as we put sails up and down and started the engine then turned it off, but we made some distance and in the morning it dawned clear and there was a cool, fresh, new wind.
I set the spinnaker and we pushed hard for another day; I was at the helm for the better part of ten hours working the boat through the waves and gusts, trying to find the best angle, determined to make another hundred miles. Judy asked me if I wanted to keep it up and I told her, "Don't doubt my resolve, I will get this done."
And we did. By Wednesday morning we were back on the rhumb line, 300 miles directly ahead of the next boat; between them and the mark. We'd sailed around the low and around the fleet. It felt good.
Now we can just take whatever line is best to Fernando de Naronha, our expected landfall. There may be more challenges, and I am still pushing the boat hard, but now we have the luxury of choosing our course.
If only the electric issue would resolve itself that nicely. Like my sis' commented, we are the energizer bunny, we just keep going, but the power situation is grim: we expect to have to shut down all non-essential power either on our arrival in Fernando, or before that.
But we'll get there.
Fred & Judy (and Randy & Laura), SV Wings, South Atlantic Ocean
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