So on Pata Negra, things on deck have been great, but not so great
below deck. We've had some significant battery / electrical issues
that have put is into battery “survival mode” whilst we try and
diagnose the issue.
This did mean for several hours the crew steering to a handheld GPS
whilst we powered everything off but we're now currently charging two
batteries to keep us going. Boats these days are so dependent on
electronics and electrical capability so when there is a problem, it
hurts – but hopefully we'll get to the finish line irrespective.
Current ETA from the routing is very late Thursday or early Friday.
It seems the high pressure across Southern Ireland really blocks our
path and we expect very little or no wind from Fastnet Rock to Lands
End. Every forecast that is downloaded, you pray that the approaching
depression moves the high out of the way, but no joy. Last few
forecasts seem to be more negative than positive. After spending the
91 Fastnet race drifting around this area in no wind, it can be
painful but lets hope we get some wind to push us through. Currently
we've about 10 knots of wind from the south.
We've also been monitoring when possible the status of the
competition. The faster boats have struggled in the high pressure
ahead and allowed us to catch them, whilst Lucy Georgina catches us on
the approaching depression. This technology, along with Sat Comms has
changed racing considerably and probably drives on the crews harder
through the race... knowing it is all to play for.
A couple of days ago we were contacted by the Tall Ship Columbia on
its way to St Malo, we sadly had to refuse their request of changing
our course so we could take a photo of them, but we had a good
conversation. When we explained we were racing and our current
position, their bridge broke out in applause over the radio – most
We've sailed now nearly the whole way across the Atlantic without a
Tack/Gype and just occasionally changed spinnakers. Will feel strange
to have the boat lean the other way in the days ahead. Least now its
sunny and dry... with the crew spread asleep throughout the boat
rather. Might be limited updates now due to the battery situation,
but hopefully we'll be in 3G range soon.
Chris on Pata Negra