Alone. Then all these people showed up.

Rich Carey
Sat 28 Apr 2018 21:19
09:55.533S 117:55.925W

Dave on Raftkin emailed me to note that he'd received an email with the positions of other boats jumping the puddle at the moment. I wrote to the source and asked to be added to the mailing list. What came back was a list of the positions of 20 boats, and not only that, a couple of hours later I saw two of them! Come on now, it's a huge Ocean, find your own bit!

Like the ARC, the tracking of the boats is a bit woeful (text), so I had a few threads with the instigator of this little group, and set them off down the path of creating a gpx file like Chance did for me every few hours on the ARC. However they're text jockeys and their output is a bit crappy and error prone. I tried doing some manipulation with their text, but it's just not worth the time. Unlike the ARC, these boats all started out at different times over weeks, and the '20' are thus spread over the full 3000nm. That I saw two (traveling together for mutual safety), was a big time coincidence, and I don't expect to see any more.

Man o Man, I was getting my ass kicked a few days ago. Every five minutes a rogue wave would kick me sideways a meter! Nights are tending to be not so rough at the moment, as the moon is coming up directly behind in the afternoon and by the dead of night it's currently overhead and flattening the swell wonderfully. I did keep having to hop up to cancel the radar zone alarm with the squals abounding as ever.

So far not too bad on the wear and tear, but not totally unscathed. In addition to the clew ripping out of the mainsail, a spinnaker block tore out. I'm not using the spinnaker (too dangerous single handed), but was using the block to hold down the boom preventer (the preventer being used to dampen the boom - so locked down pretty tight) - the strain was too much for it - bang! I re tied it elsewhere and this morning the rope broke - bang!

In a momentary brain wave, I put a rubber snubber on the replacement rope (as you put on shore lines to help with surge), and that's helping with the boom 'snatch' that I was suffering with the main well out to the side, and the negative effects of the rogue 'kicker' waves.

Other than that, there's not a whole lot going on, which is a good thing. I do hope for a return of a moderate wind, so that I can make my hoped for 3 week passage. I'm now slightly south of the target, so at some stage I'm going to have to gybe and climb back up. Currently the wind is 90-100 degrees so it makes sense to stay as is. If it gets to 90 I can gybe and be doing exactly the same progress westward, but be moving back up towards the target latitude.

All's well on x86, going through the 'plodding' stage.

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