2012-06-17 Newport Race Update

1. Greetings all! It has been a noteworthy day afloat. Triple Lindy cleared the main body of the Gulf Stream by 1800 last night. Our Gulf Stream passage was rough, but presented no problems. The always dynamic stream waters had steep waves, confused cross seas, and several rain squalls. The water had more of a greyish tint, probably due to the cloudy conditions, and we saw numerous flying fish jumping in and out of the waves, one hit Kent in the back but he and Pete were able to bravely wrestle it overboard. Close call! The winds remained strong and that provided the momentum to keep us moving at a high rate of speed. At sunrise today, we still had some confused seas (and navi-guessers) as we cleared some of the outflow from the stream meanders, and smaller eddies breaking off the main stream waters. This morning we had a real treat for breakfast, with CAPT Joe cooking pancakes. It was hard not to be distracted by the maritime scenery, and occasional showers coming from beautiful cloud formations. At one point astern of us, a rainbow popped out and persisted for several minutes. During the Rob, Joe, John, and Brian watch, they even got to chase a rainbow for a few minutes. (would have been nice if they had actually focused on a sail change perhaps…SM)

2. We were busy with sail changes after breakfast, since the wind direction shifted to the south and caused us to put up the code 0 (a lighter weight reaching sail), and ultimately, number 2 genoa to be able to work slightly upwind on our planned track. Just after that, about 0700, we had a Moby Dick moment. There was a loud thud that resonated through the boat, and Sean felt the wheel jump out of his hands. It turns out we were hit by awhale that surfaced behind us. Then the whale surfaced again about 30yds behind us, and proceeded on his way, looking no worse for the wear. One of his buddies was also in the area, and we saw both whales moving off after investigating us. We think the whale brushed along the boat hitting the starboard bow, keel, and rudder as it went aft. So we had the maritime version of a minor “fender bender”. We carefully checked the integrity of the boat to ensure there was no damage or flooding, and thankfully all appears to be intact.

3 This is a critical part of the race when all of the boats in our class have exited the Gulf Stream at different points and we’re plotting our course for the last and final phase of the race. We’re considering predicted winds over the next 48 hours affected by a low pressure system in the vicinity of Bermuda and our present position relative to our competitors. At the moment we’re positioned eastwards of most of our competition, in hopes of stronger winds in this part of the course. It has turned out to be another record breaking day’s run for Triple Lindy. We covered 204.75NM in 24hrs, with an average speed of 8.5 knots! The meals today were superb, with Mrs. Mele’s meatballs for lunch, and delicious veal stew over coucous for dinner.

4. Although we are afloat enjoying the offshore sailing experience, our thoughts are with you all on this Father’s Day. Thank you for your love and encouragement– we couldn’t be out here without your support.