Here we are. At 9° 47’ North, Simon has officially entered the Doldrums, which extend from approximately 10°N to 3°N at this time of year, or 420 miles from North to South. This zone created between the NE trade winds of the northern hemisphere and the SE trades of the southern hemisphere is variable in size and conditions. This time those are real doldrums, extended and devoid of regular winds.
Simon endures the weather with no illusions about his progress, keeping himself busy: “Hot and slow again. That’s the menu for the week ahead too. 2 flying fish rescues” he said in his morning tweet. He and Tapio are clocking 60 miles a day, while the fleet is closing down fast, averaging over 100 miles/day, 130 for the fastest ones, including Pat, Abhilash, and Gugg!
While the South Africans are engaging in a westerly option, all is well east of them: “Consistent wind force and direction are the sailors’ best friends! A dream! Next squall line ahead! Well whatever!” said Cpt Gugg this morning. This should last until Saturday morning, with Simon hopefully halfway through the doldrums, but having painfully reduced his lead further, now only 140 miles over Pat and 500 miles over Damien.
A bit frustrating for the leaders obviously, but so exciting for us!