12 Jul Day Ten Update From The Transatlantic Race
Happy hump day from the Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team. Things here on the Vanquish aren’t all that much different than before: we’re still bumping up against this high-pressure ridge immediately to our east, and as soon as we get enough wind to sail up to it, the wind dies when we get there and we have to wait for the next pulse to do it all over again. We’ve been working that oscillation in a northerly trend all day to better position ourselves between the remaining fleet to our north and where we think the next abundance of wind will be to our east.
Just now we switched from the A2 spinnaker we flew for most of the day to the code-0, and have pointed our bow in a more easterly direction across the ridge. We have picked our latitude and we will attempt to cross the no-wind zone from here on out. No more up or down, only across. It’s a big commitment but one we have to make!
Otherwise, things are becoming quite pleasant on board. We have been blessed by an abundance of sun and dry weather, and morale is particularly high given the un-anticipated duration of this race. We must have a sexy keel or something because this boat seems to attract plenty of attention from the aquatic life below. Today we came across numerous pods of dolphin, maybe 6 or 7, with many choosing to tempt life under the bow. There were a couple sunbathing sunfish, flopping lazily in the swell. We saw several packs of fin whales, which, according to our onboard expert-of-all-things-swimming, are second biggest only to the blue whale. Quite a sight. This was a wildlife day to remember!
There are just over three hundred miles to go to our finish and while we’re all trying really hard not to look past that, today has been a day of reflection for a lot of us. Downtime is plentiful when the going is this slow… I’ve begun to think about what I’d miss most, what I’ll remember most, what I’ll forget first, but the most important things I could think of were the friends I’ve made out here—friends I hope to keep forever. The other thing I thought about were the people that made all of this possible, for all of us. There a lot of thank you’s to be given, and they will in due time. But on behalf of the entire AAOT, a heartfelt thank you, in early fashion.
Tomorrow will in all likeliness be our last full day together on this trip and I have no doubt we will make the most of it.