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Twenty Days Out from Bermuda - Where is Dodge?

December 7, 2014

Twenty days and some 3,600 miles from Bermuda, I find myself still neck and neck with Dodge Morgan and his 1986 record. He did better through the doldrums than I did. He shot through with favorable winds while I had some windless times and some time out for repairs. At this point Dodge is 249 miles north east and behind me - a little more than a day but he is east of me and will stay that way for a while.  Now we enter an area off the coast of Brazil where we will start to lose the easterly trade winds and have many variables along with squalls in the early morning and at dusk. It’s in these waters that most of my damage occurred last time (lost a spinnaker, damaged my staysail furler, busted the end of the boom from an accidental jibe, lost two battens from the mainsail) including  the deck fittings which support the mast and sailing gear were beginning to fail. So I shall be sailing more conservatively for the next ten days and expect Dodge to gain and pull ahead of me. Soon after that however we shall part company somewhat. His router (Bob Rice) had him take a more south easterly course to the southern ocean whereas my router (Ken Campbell and team of Commanders Weather) will have me take a more southerly and perhaps even SSW at times to get to the westerly winds down south and then I will turn east. When Dodge and I meet some fifteen days later at about 40 degree latitude south it will be interesting to see the result.   

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