The World’s Longest Yacht Race – Heather’s Update 10

 As I sit here typing in the Navigation Station, I hear the generator going, vibrating the entire back end of the boat. My back is a bit stiff as I find it very difficult to get comfortable anywhere on the boat, especially on deck. I hear scrubbing on the floor as some daily cleaning is going on. I smell the anti-bac. I’m pretty sure I smell a bit, too, but we’ve all gotten accustomed to the smell.
Thankfully, the heat is lessening daily as we move north. We just began the ocean sprint this morning off the coast of Florida. I say “off the coast”…really, it is leagues away from land. Also, as I’ve been sitting here we just ticked down to less than 700 miles to go. WOO HOOOOO! The crew are anxious to get to NYC as many family and friends are planning to meet us there. I literally can’t wait.
As the watches changed over this morning a wave of excitement hit the crew when one of our fishing lines out back was fruitful. Stuart thinks we caught a Spanish mackerel. You should have seen how people popped up from below to see it pulled in. It was quite a lovely fish. It will be our dinner! A very nice and welcome change to our usual dinners that are mixtures of dried pastas, rice, etc. and food from tin cans. The meals rotate on a weekly basis, but they do get old. It is very difficult to have variety in the diet, so we are all quite happy when a fish takes to our lines.
One of the crewmembers on our watch who, shall we say, is never at a loss for words, accepted a challenge of being silent for 24 hours and in exchange a donation will be made to WWF. She has gallantly taken up the challenge and at the time that I’m writing this has only 1 hour and 17 minutes left! Wow!
We have thankfully gotten some more wind and our speeds are now averaging 10 knots, which on this leg is really quite fast. The predictions of “light and variable” winds have been true. It also seems that the Gulf Stream Current is not very strong at the moment, so we are almost 100% dependant on the wind. Other boats have been more lucky with their wind. I do think that it is luck.
At the beginning of the race Gold Coast and DLL were miles ahead of the rest of the fleet, I believe due to good sailing skills…until we all hit the same wind hole. Slowly but surely the rest of the fleet caught up. For one day or so we could see almost all 10 boats in the distance in some direction or another.
It was interesting and frustrating how you could look over and see that your opponent had wind in their sails, yet ours lay flat as drapes. Very frustrating. Now that we are out of the wind hole-prone region, it will take a lot of work to catch up, but our crew is up to the challenge. But if there is one thing that a sail boat needs, it is WIND!
Let’s hope that it holds out and takes us to the Big Apple!

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