Cabo, Day 4

Overnight provided some great downwind conditions and we continued to extend our lead. By 0900 the wind was easing drastically as the transition into the new westerly flow progressed. We changed up to the A1 and managed to keep the boat moving along. After a couple of hours sleep I came up to find the wind seeker up and the boat almost at a stand still. The breeze had left us once more! We knew it was coming and it was no surprise but you get used to flying along in Champaign conditions which is easy compared to keeping it going in the light stuff. As always we did our best and pushed as hard as possible given the amount of wind. These are the conditions which require the most concentration and can be the most tiring especially as things are warming up. We have definitely given a few hours away due to the conditions this morning but the wind is back up to around 15 knots or more and we are sending it down the course again.

I am happy to say all systems are functioning perfectly at the moment. The electronics have been reliable, the boat is dry and the restored hatches are great. Lots of food and snacks are being consumed and we have plenty more to get us to Cabo. The water maker keeps the tanks full and we did a salt water wash down just now to keep the decks swollen up, cool the hot decks and clean up the crumbs from all the munches consumed.

Fingers crossed this breeze holds for the night but so far there seems to have been a pattern of it increasing into the 20s after midnight and dropping of in the early morning before the sea breeze kicks in again. Hanna and I have named the spin stay sail the wind killer now as every time we put it up the wind dies, and the mizzen sail is the lamp shade at night which keeps the full moon from blinding you. The nights have been spectacular with shooting stars, good light, mostly clear skies and not to cold.

We still haven’t caught a fish but there are 300 miles to go and the water is just starting to warm up a bit. Eta at the current speed is Thursday afternoon but I doubt the wind will hold and we will most likely see a Friday arrival.

Greg Stuart:Just finished my 12 to 3 watch with watch mate Chris Busch. We have a three watch system going that is working very well. Lots of rest and able to sail with everyone on the crew. We sniffed out the sea breeze at 2 pm and are now making 8 knots at a good heading and passing abeam of San Benito. We are finally now starting to see the faster boats pass us
that started on Saturday. Hannah’s chili Mac was a big hit and so far is the best freeze dried meal to date. Also Hannah special hot mocha java each time she goes off watch have been well received.

Chris Busch:The crew on Dorade had one of the most memorable nights of sailing for a Cabo Race. Full moon, 18-20 knots of wind, lined up seaway so the boat was slipping downwind nicely at 8 plus knots. An easy drive with the A2 spin squared back, spin staysail, mizzen spinnaker and full main all drawing. The crew looks forward to its sail to Hawaii in a few months as we learn which sail combination work best and provide the highest performance given the conditions. As it’s my first time racing on Dorade, I quite impressed how the old girl performs…truly a piece of history..

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