Saturday, 12 January 2008

Hugo Boss update.

As Hugo Boss approaches Cape Horn they have closed the miles with the leading boat a little, I must say that it still looks as though they will have their work cut out to win.

"We have about 880 miles to go to Cape Horn which should take a little more than two days, we are making good progress. It’s not at all a spiritual place, and I don’t look forward to it with any meaning but it’s a huge relief just to get the boat heading north – it’s the end of the Southern Ocean and you don’t have to go any further south, it’s a relief to get on with the race. Paprec around certainly hasn’t changed the way we look at the race – we have the gap there and we gave them a two-day lead so you expect things to happen. We just have to play the race as we see it, with the weather we have got; there is nothing else we can do. But we should gain on them in the next twelve hours; it will be a bit of a mixed bag, and there is still a third of the race to go. "The forecast is not incredibly optimistic… we are still in different weather systems and it doesn’t look there is a huge parking lot where they will stop and we can get closer to them, that probably wouldn’t happen in this section of the race, it is more likely off Rio and there is still a lot of opportunity there. Right now we have 25-30 knots; we are riding the front of a front, it’s quite squally and gusty, coming and going getting pretty bumpy, and we are sitting on 18-20 knots of boat speed. We are getting there, it's not too uncomfortable it’s bearable and hopefully in a couple of days we will be there and stay north. "Typically you head east of the Falklands unless there is a funny weather situation, I noticed that Virbac are going through the straits which I wouldn’t bother with normally but then their system is slightly different, we will see how it goes for us… I wouldn’t go to the west of the Falklands unless you paid me!"

Back in our small cruising world here in Guatemala we have been steadily working our way through the list of 'must do' jobs before we leave for Cuba. Yesterday TBH finished stripping down the old outboard that we acquired from some friends who were about to dump it. He has cannibalized it for the spares and also as he put it, to really see how the thing is put together. It is the same as the one we use on our dinghy so we are very pleased to have rescued some $50 of spares!

We have a new shower hose in place, yeah! Installed yet another electric fan in the saloon and done some woodwork repairs. Reinstalled the Monitor paddle, we often take it off when in a marina as its a bit vulnerable to passing traffic! It's all getting pretty exciting stuff...

Sometime in the next couple of weeks I have to travel in to the big supermarket and stock the boat, again! We are told that Cuba is impossible to shop in and we must carry all our provisions etc. I have two pilot guides onboard and armed with those and an armful of charts am beginning to look at our possible route, I love this part of cruising all those new places to decide on!

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