PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II managed to regain 1st in Class and 1st in Fleet overnight. To give a small idea of what it took, the distance between 1400 UTC plotted positions of yesterday and today was 98 nautical miles. But the distance actually sailed was 150 nautical miles. Looking at the plotted positions of the fleet, it is hard to see if many of them had to work as hard or not. Certainly EAGLE has the longest run between 1400 positions of any Class A vessel. But it was all to the south and east of her position yesterday! Going dramatically so far south from her somewhat northerly position should do well for positioning her to approach the finish line with the southwest winds now in place and should also help with crossing the Gulf Steam more directly. Meanwhile EUROPA is way to the north with nothing seeming to advantage her position for getting to the finish line. Not only will the next day or so bring southwest winds to her, but the Gulf Stream will slow her down with any effort to steer for Charleston. But maybe she is like the fox…a cold front is due to come over her Sunday and maybe it will provide her with a favorable beam breeze for getting down to Charleston. The Class A that is closest to Charleston is CAPITAN MIRANDA. She looks in pretty good position weather and Gulf Stream wise.
The vessels leading the fleet seem to be mostly Class D vessels with lonely ol’ Class B PRIDE doing her best to keep up. SPIRIT OF BERMUDA was right there in the mix with us…but she dropped out unexpectedly this morning and started motoring to the west…we could see this on our Automatic Indication System (AIS). During today’s radio schedule position report she declared her situation. She was headed into port to meet a dry-docking schedule set for early next week. Between her and SPIRIT OF SOUTH CAROLINA dropping out there are now five Class B vessels contending, down from an original seven vessels. TECLA posses the biggest threat to PRIDE by not only being sailed very well, but posses a very big handicap that could very easily gobble up any of the lead PRIDE may have. Meanwhile JOLIE BRISE, always sailed well, is also closing in from behind with her significant handicap. ETOILE also looks in very good position for dealing with the southwest wind and Gulf Stream. So PRIDE cannot rest at all.
While the competition in Class B seems pretty hot from PRIDE’s perspective, the weather is getting significantly hot and muggy. While the sea has been nearly smooth and the sky clear during day and night, the wind is so full of moisture that standing on deck makes one soggy. With the sun up now it is adding to the embedded heat in the southwest air that is coming from the Gulf of Mexico. While being on deck causes evaporation through the affect of wind blowing, down below is nearly a sauna…with only the occasional puff of air coming through open sky lights and deck hatches. Charleston will probably not be cooler. Oh boy!
Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II