On board blog from Dona Bertarelli
Rain, wind, fog
After we passed the obligatory mark at the famous Percé Rock, the long awaited wind has finally arrived accompanied by a short and choppy sea state as well as fog. Boots and oilskins are essential as everything is onboard is soaked because of the spray and intermittent rain. There is little comfort. We have been sailing at 30-35 knots for several hours and frequently reaching speeds over 40 knots. Successive helmsmen try to control the boat with the sudden and unexpected swerves, and life down below is difficult. Nothing can be done without hanging on and, despite this, it is not unusual to find yourself almost levitated for short periods of time.
After Madeleine Island, we just passed St Pierre et Miquelon, the only French territory in North America. More specifically, we passed between St Pierre and Grand Colombier, better known as Henry’s Pass. Although still under a low and foggy sky, the narrow Pass is a beautiful sight. Bright green cliffs drop fall steeply into the sea, numerous birds soar in the building wind in the Pass and a few hardy and courageous fans came to greet us after a long wait. This will be the last bit of land of that we see before crossing the Atlantic as, in a few hours we will pass Newfoundland, but at night.
It is also now that we should catch up with some of the other competitors in the Quebec-St Malo who started the race on Sunday. Over the next 36 hours, and if the weather conditions continue as they are, we should pass the majority of the fleet. Only the Multi 50’s will be difficult to catch before reaching the Fastnet Rock.
08:00 GMT - WEATHER FORECAST BY ERWAN ISRAEL
Strong south southwesterly winds have been with us since Friday morning, and this allowed us to quickly exit the St Lawrence seaway, leaving behind the tourist spots, although the fog and mist put pay to that most of the time!
At lunchtime on Saturday we will be sailing along the Newfoundland banks on the edge of the ice exclusion zone and the wind should ease off to 25-30knots and move to the southwest, which will allow us to hoist the gennaker and start sailing downwind.
The plan is to keep on this starboard tack in between the two depressions - one from Greenland to the north that has been with us since yesterday and the other from the Azores. This Atlantic one might deprive us of a little wind, which will mean that we will need to adjust our course north…
07:00 GMT - SPINDRIFT 2 POSITION
Speed: 32,5 kts DTF : 1 855,9 nm Speed (last four hours): 27,4 kts Cap : 90°