Financial Crisis: Akilaria RC1 hull number 41 is for sale

Financial Crisis, sail number 41, registered name "Mowgli" is for sale by
owner. Currently engaged in the Global Ocean Race the boat is viewable at
any of the remaining stopovers, Wellington, Punta del Este, Charleston or
Europe at the end of the race with an opportunity for the new owner for a
test sail or even joining one of the remaining legs of the race as
co-skipper.

I have invested all my funds in putting together this campaign, but
unfortunately I am struggling to see the race through having been unable
to raise any further sponsorship since leaving Palma.

The albatrosses are getting bigger - is that good or bad?

We've now been at sea for 8 days, many of which are just a blur. In the
last few we've been reaching in fairly stable winds and it gets a bit
monotonous. I'm in no way complaining as it looks like we're going to get
our backs kicked in a few days by a cold front with strong and gusty winds
so we may as well enjoy the easy ride for now.

I've taken the chance to eat more than in the previous days and add as
much as possible to the rest and energy bank as i'm sure we still have to
see a lot worse than so far.

Our distance to Phesheya has been fairly constant but we've lost VHF and
AIS contact which is a shame as a friendly voice in the middle of the
ocean really makes your day.

Deep ocean match racing continues

It's another pleasant sail today in the Southern Ocean, reaching west in
warm Northerly winds. We are sailing with Phesheya Racing in sight just
behind our stern now, we chatted on VHF a few times exchanging jokes and
banter, which is really nice, sharing the adventure with your competitors
i think is part of this great race.

On the VHF chat we all expressed our gratitude for the extremely nice
conditions that we are being blessed with and which should be with us
another while still as it seems we'll manage to keep with this weather
system for a few days... we really cannot complain.

Southern Ocean randez vous between Financial Crisis and Phesheya Racing

After six days of racing i have a sense of deja vu, the three new boats
are at the front and here futher back we are nearly in visual contact with
Phesheya Racing which is about 7 miles to our port, we had a brief radio
chat and as we are converging we should actually see them pretty soon...
the same had happened by the Gibriltar and again by the coast of Morocco
in leg one. The two boats are same design and same speed and it makes it
real special in the solitude of the Southern Ocean to have your fellow
racers and friends close by...

It's another very pleasant sunny day and we should enjoy stable and
relatively light conditions for a few days ahead.

A welcome break in hot sunshine and gentle winds

After days of being punished and thrown around things have definitely
turned for the better, we have emerged from our dry suits stinking like
dead rats and are enjoying a lovely spinnaker run in a hot sunshine and
gentle 20-25 knots of wind. I guess conditions like this will be
exceptional but who says we cant enjoy them while they last.

Both Hugo and I have found ourselves needing quite a lot of catching up
with sleep but feeling a million times better every time we squeeze in a
few restful hours. I still think the emotional roller coaster of the first
few days was a combination of fear of the unknown, apprehension and
immediate physical exhaustion while being thrown around in wet horrible
conditions...

The way to diet: Non surgical gastric bands

If you are looking at a non-surgical equivalent to a gastric band look no
further, come to the great south where we'll make you feel a constant knot
around your stomach to lose weight. In the past few days it's been either
windy or freaking windy, and as far as I understand this still absolutely
nothing compared to what we might get.

Yesterday we got caught small spinnaker up in a front with gusts up to 45
knots and had to wrestle the thing down, we just discussed the strategy
for the night and we really have to balance speed with safety and gear
preservation, it still is a long long way to Wellington and with no land
in sight any major breakages would mean a very very long limp to the
finish.

Finally flying in the right direction after a windless night

We spent the night in a windless hole with a 2-3 knots current dragging us
west, we can only blame lack of research and preparation for not knowing
about this adverse river in our way, i guess everyone had to cross it but
we certainly got the worst of it as we had no wind at all to reach the
other side of the stream. In the morning the wind finally filled, we
initially hoisted the A2 masthead spinnaker, but quickly the wind clocked
to the south west and the angle was too shy.

An emotional roller coaster in the grips of the south easterlies

I didnt have the easiest of starts, mentally, I think the stress in
getting things ready in Cape Town wore me out and I have to admit to a
very tough first 48 hours.

A tough start for leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race

We're at sea admiring a beautiful sunset and in the distance we can just
make Cape Good Hope that we are leaving behind us, this will most likely
be the last piece of land we'll see till we arrive in New Zealand.

My mood the day of the start was far than relaxed. I was apprehensive and
my mouth was dry, we are venturing towards the mysterious Southern
Ocean... The first night was tough, after a light patch of wind west of
Cape Town in the lee of Table Mountain the dreaded South Easter was
blowing 25-30 knots right on our noses and beating into the horrible seas
was many degrees of separations away from the word pleasant.

Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon ready to set off for leg 2 of the Global Ocean Race

I cannot believe it has been over three weeks since we arrived to Cape Town, time seems to have dissipated like the clouds that blow over Table Mountain when the Southeaster blows hard in Town. Repairs to the boat were finally completed just a few days ago, the food supplies replenished and the boat checked over for signs of wear and breakages. Tomorrow we'll finally set off for one of the two dreaded Southern Ocean legs, apprehension always lingers at the back of your mind but this is what we came to experience.

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.