Studying doldrums development, thanks to Deltawave communications

Tense day waiting for the wind shift which did not quite come when and as expected, got trapped in some light airs early this morning which costs us a fortune in terms of distance to Cessna, but we are still chasing. We spent some time overlaying cloud satellite imagery with wind model predictions trying to figure out the easiest passage through the doldrums, but so many times we have been caught out in stronger or lighter winds than forecast that we have to play it one mile at a time. It is a lottery at the moment, but we have at least an idea of how far east or west we want to be to avoid getting totally stuck.

Fear and loathing in the oceans

Today we waited for a chap nicknamed Godot, who was going to score us some E's, the easterlies winds. Chap pretty unreliable, showed up very late and brought all sort of light stuff, we asked where is the heavy stuff and he said none till later in the week, sold all he had to some young guys, we said what young guys, he says a kiwi and a spanish guy took all his E's and then disappeared, disappeared which way we said, Godot said they had a small two seater plane and flew south. Clubby got a bit irritated by the dude and started wielding a knife again, he has a party to go to at that new drum&bass place they opened South side, the Doldrums, and promised all his mates he'd score the E's by this afternoon.

Clubby steers through the light airs and Readies for his Brek

When the wind goes light i'm not allowed anywhere near the helm, Paul says
Clubby with a
blindfold steers a straighter line in these conditions, so we left Clubby
concentrating
really hard and doing a great job - he doesn't even need feeding as he catches
the flying
fish as they jump out of the water and swallows them alive never leaving the
helm.

Today it's clearly Sunday, it's 3pm and i've been in my pants all day,
slouching around
most of the morning and when it came to lunch Paul and I had to poke each
others with
sticks to find the energy to open a tin of sardines served on stale bread, call
that
luxury.

There are no signs of life anywhere around us, not a single ship for two days
now, so last
night we entrusted Clubby to most of the night time watch keeping whils

From Endeavour Quay to the Doldrums, a tale of great support

The heat has come to be almost unbearable, i drag myself around the boat
like an old dog, looking for a spot where to doze off for the next hour, i
close my eyes and wake up in a sweat, confused, weak, i stand up and
almost collapse with low pressure, i drink another huge glass of water and
repeat the cycle.

We gybed twice today, twice we moved all the stack below, in the furnace.
The wind is getting lighter and lighter and there's little we can do other
than press on and hope we can cover the next 500 miles to the doldrums
without going insane or getting stuck in a windless zone.

We keep chasing Cessna, they invested yesterday in some miles going west,
which clearly looks good today, with the wind getting lighter and ligher
in the east, but the separation is not enormous an

Marco Nannini will fly Slovak flag around the world

On sunday september 25th 2011, 6 international teams have crossed the start line of the Global Ocean Race 2011/2012, the double handed round the world race for class40 sailing yachts. Among the skippers, Marco Nannini and Paul Peggs who will carry the logo of the Office for Slovak national living abroad (USZZ) and will fly the Slovak national flag at each stopover.

Land Ahoy! Flying sushimi

Land Ahoy! We are approaching the Ilha de Sao Vicente in the Cape Verde's archipelago from the north and we've had great trouble spotting it even just 10 miles away, a thick mist hangs over the horizon giving a sense of asphyxiation in the incredible heat... now we can make two round rocky tops. "A pair of tits!" shouted Clubby the Seal who's been in better spirits today after finally fetching some flying sushimi. He had the fish raw with just a touch of lime and olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. "They were tiny ones, babies, innocent, soft and juicy, amuse bouche volant...".

Finding our way towards the doldrums

We've had mixed feelings all day about the route to follow, Cessna seems
now committed to go west of the Cape Verde's which may be a successful
flier considering that both Campagne de France and BSL have slowed down
since reaching the archipelago.

Trying out new radical boat surfing techniques

All well on board "Financial Crisis", we enjoyed the fast sailing
conditions of last night although I felt we didn't make the most of it at
all times. Our choices are always driven by a very conservative approach,
what we have on board has to last the whole race, with no title sponsor
and no budget left for repairs or new sails we decided after sunset when
the wind started to gust over 25 knots to change down from the big
spinnaker to the more robust fractional spinnaker to avoid any risk of
damaging the more delicate sail. This proved over zealous, the wind didn't
quite build much further and in the morning we reverted to the bigger
spinnaker having however dropped almost 15 miles to Cessna Citation, a
hefty price to pay for safety.

Shocking pictures reveal abuse of taxpayer's funds in "Financial Crisis"

This morning the world has woken up to shocking images revealing that the
emergency rescue funds donated via Paypal by tax-paying law-abiding
citizedns to Global OCean Race entry "Financial Crisis" may have in fact
slipped through the tight controls imposed by regulators since the
beginning of the economic downturn and misused to fund the high flying
lifestyle of senior managers of the offshore entity. Vice President clubby
was pictured collapsed in the cockpit of the company's yacht after a night
of excesses.

Described by many as irrespectful party animal, Clubby has issued a
statent to clarify the situation "I was standing in the cockpip with a cup
of tea admiring the beautiful sunset when the boom came flying across in a
crash gybe and hit me on the head.

Mauritanian local fishing community is not to blame for Piracy

Several of the Global Ocean Race competitors have reported being
approached by suspicious vessels in the proximity of the Mauritanian
coast, Paranoia or Piracy? This is a serious issue which has been in
the mind of competitors for several days. One instance gave rise to a
chase where Campagne de France sped off under masthead spinnaker leaving
behind a rusty fishing boat that had been following them for hoursoffering
the latest Blockbusters on DVD. "Zhey only had stupid american films, what
i look for is zhe coolness of film noire or zhe intellectual challenge of
a film d'avant guarde... I hate all zhose romantic comedies" commented a
rather shocked Halvard Mabire.

Finally into the trade winds

The struggle to reach the stable trade winds seems to have lasted an
eternity, the fleet progress has been very slow compared to the schedule
we had imagined when leaving Punta del Este and only Cessna at the front
has been keeping steady averages since reaching these steady winds a day
ahead of us.

So far and for several days we seemed to have fairly stable winds at night
then we'd get stopped during the day in flukey winds and sudden rain
showers caused presumably by the high temperatures and moist air becoming
unstable. This morning for the first time the winds held strong after
sunrise and the sky is unmistakeably changed, little white fluffy clouds
are scattered regularly around instead of massive cumulus formations
typical of the unstable air masses of the last few days, see the photo for
an example.

We've emerged from this section of the race in second place squeezing a
lead of 60 miles over Phesheya, our gamble to go offshore at Cabo Frio
paid off eventually. I think we can now expect a drag race to the doldrums
where things could get shaken again. I may be wrong so we'll certainly
keep a watchful eye on the Dutch and the Southafrincans and try cover our
backs from a likely attack...

We had a few issues with the NKE electronics suddenly losing the boat
speed reading, then the compass reading, all misteriously working again by
simply powering off an on the system, luckily all the problems occurred
in light airs and not while sailing with the big spinnaker in strong winds
like during leg 3 when a similar failure caused the boat to go off in a
big gybe resulting in the big spinnaker to be torn in half (and
subsequently repaired in Punta del Este).

Another misterious source of worry came from the primary alternator we
rely on to charge the batteries, for 2 consecutive days it seemed to have
given up the ghost, only to wake up gingerly this morning and resume
service as if nothing had ever happened.

So far, save for a spinnaker sheet which I quite stupidly lost overboard
during a manouvre we havent really had any damage or serious problems,
let's hope things carry on like this to make Charleston a stress free and
cheap stopover. The budget has long ago been totally depleted. In Punta we
were being hosted in free accommodation by the Yacht Club Punta del Este
and for the other expenses i relied on the generosity of many readers who
have sent donations through www.marconannini.com/help which i'm very
grateful for. We're hoping to find a host family during our relatively
brief Charleston stopover and hopefully the price of food will be no where
near the inflated prices of Punta del Este where an espresso could cost
over 3 euros! For now we're getting in the swing of our freeze dried diet,
the last fresh item, an apple, was eaten yesterday.