Monday, November 17, 2008

Kenny "like a pair of dice hitting a craps table..."

Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing
Another spectacular send off. Cape Town had some lofty expectations to live up to and not only did the city, the country, and the people live up to them, they blew us away. We can't thank all the folks we met enough- both the locals and the troops at PUMA. It was sad to leave. And as always it was sad to leave our families and friends, not to mention the shore team who did a spectacular job getting the boat in great shape over a tough couple weeks. I bet the shore team wasn't too sad to see us leave!

With that said, we are leaving with avengeance! I am actually struggling to write this note because we're getting thrown around the boat like a pair of dice hitting a craps table. Our start couldn't have been better- gorgeous day and a quick lead for the fine yacht 'il mostro'. But it didn't last long...the infamous wind hole under Table Mountain played her tricks on us and we went from having a large lead to being stuck in a glue pot watching a few others sail by. We had a strategy- expecting the hole, but the strategy to get offshore quickly didn't exactly work to plan. Anyway, after a gorgeous beat down the coast with eight Volvo 70's tacking along the mountains in 20-25 knots of wind, we caught up with the race leader E3 just at sunset right off Cape Point. A great day if you liked to sail.

Also as anticipated, the night brought a shift in the weather and a chance to get across a ridge into the Southern Ocean westerlies being carried by a large low pressure system coming from the west. Well we did it. A morning check in with E4 about a half mile from us (no shocker!) and a building breeze led us to where we are now. Careening down waves in 27 knots of breeze against 2 plus knots of current called the Agulhas Current, trying to write this note. And, it’s a bit moist on deck...nasty right now actually.

One small issue on board is a bit of a flu that has taken hold- not very much fun for a few of us. And the great news for the rest of the group is they can almost be guaranteed to get the cold eventually,based on the unavoidable hygiene on a lovely V-70 petri dish. Which is why this may be one of the more bland notes you will (hopefully) read from il mostro. I need some more Advil! My head is killing me, and it's not just the flu. I just smashed it into a winch structure under deck getting my foul weather gear off. You would think that I would know it was there by now!
- Kenny -