Sir Robin battles along with Saga Insurance

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s latest missive from the Southern Ocean:

“A frustrating night as it went light and variable for 4 hours and SAGA
INSURANCE nowhere in persistent cold rain. I thought the others might be
similarly affected but not so. Despite being close, both have taken quite
a chunk on us. They have the detailed weather, I don’t, and those miles
are the difference between missing one of these little patches and not.”

“This game has changed. There is much more emphasis on technology and what
it can provide and you are now as good as your technical support or have
sufficient electronic knowledge to understand how this stuff works. With
neither system available for downloading weather, I am having to play catch
up when conditions permit but am unable to choose the best tactical
solution, or take action to avoid calms like to-day and will lose out
whenever the weather becomes light and fluky. I ought to be out sailing
them, not this.”

“Noon to noon, 177 miles, the worst day’s run this leg. Spent some time
working on technology, when I ought to have been working out how to set a
reacher without its furler, without which, in these light conditions, I
cannot head far down wind as I need – more time is lost. The poor get
poorer! I know there is a big system behind and coming this way, its as if
the wind has been sucked in by a gigantic bellows from here to boost the
wind that’s coming.”

“Sadly the lost miles last night means I shall be last across the date line,
not an honourable position. I am hoping to stay close to the boats in front
to keep in vaguely the same weather systems, but they know where these calms
are smallest, I don’t. Also both are sailing much better this leg and that’
s not just down to them having better weather info. I had closed to within
15 minutes of longitude behind AGD (Graham Dalton) last night but during the
night he put that up to 60 minutes.”

“On a different note, passed a seal lolling on the surface about 10 metres
away. It did not appear to notice us at all. Caught up with a couple of
hours sleep this afternoon, then got ready for the bad weather, made water,
topped up the engine day tank, etc.”