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deep, deep south

Laurent brings us up to speed on Banque Pop V’s latest news, with a nearly 2100 NM lead on Groupama 3’s record. Stick to the thread for the latest and greatest.

The sea state has improved. The swell is becoming very long. We had a very rough beginning of the night with very short seas. We had to slow down quite a lot, but now, it’s OK. We nevertheless could not avoid a drop behind quite an impressive wave, this morning. We most likely broke the instantaneous speed record of the boat, over 48 knots… in free fall. It was rather with the help of Newton, than Eole. The troughs are 10 meters deep, once in a while, but with a very long period, not far from 200 meters between 2 crests. We can handle this, no problem…

From the data we have, there is no ice for the next 48 hours. On the other hand, smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we already have the location of a number of “ice cubes”, including a baby of 7 kilometers long. And we know very well that it is smack in the middle but much further North, by 53°/54° South. We are going to go up slowly but surely, to avoid this ice area that we already know precisely.

We know that we are going to get very difficult weather conditions in 48 hours, just after New Zealand, on the edge of a high pressure system. We are going to have very, very strong North winds. We are going to be on a beam reach with 40 knots of wind, most likely. We cannot avoid it, and it is not going to be very comfortable, because this is the point of sail where we cannot slow down, or it is very difficult. I have a feeling this is going to end up with a bare pole, or maybe with 3 reefs, at least. And right after that, there will be not much wind, because of that high pressure system. For now, there is a forecast of a very big low pressure system just before Cape Horn. It seems that it is pretty much stuck in this area. But you expect pretty much anything in those latitudes. It cannot be just a walk in the park…

 

December 14th, 2011

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