Rolex Transatlantic – Day 6

May 27, 2005   

The sea is flatter, the steering steadier, the wind just a hair lighter, the speed good (11-12 knots) but we can now carry a main so the car problem has to be solved. The bottom cap of the damaged car remains on the track, the body of the car is not damaged and we have extra crayons so the solution is to take a new top cap from the extra cars we have and cut it in half allowing the two halves to be put on the track. This means that Ashley and Peter can reinstall the intermediate car without sliding off all the cars below. The top cap of the car in two halves is connected to the car with screws and loctite and the jury rig works. The main can go back up and the speed increases again.  We continue to execute our grand strategy of staying in the strongest winds with the best angles. So we have been moving fast to the east, but not yet north toward England. Repeated simulations say this is the fastest way to go but there is a large risk as we are ‘split’ from the fleet.   

A brief report on the five plain-vanilla Americans other than myself is:

Peter Becker, our senior watch captain, is the indefatigable 100 miles per hour irresistible force. He bounds across the deck with his Ming the Merciless black rain cap, and cannot rest until everything is perfect. And even then he does not rest.

Steve Lirakis, watch captain, is also a dynamo of energy, keeping his eye on everything and telling good stories all the way. We learned that like Will Hubbard today, Steve did his first transatlantic race when he was a 21-year old college senior.

Will Hubbard, bowman, is the youngest aboard, but ready to race Ashley to go up the mast on a moment's notice. His enthusiasm is contagious.

The two Bills -- Hubbard and Morris -- have fitted right into the steering rotation and keep the boat moving. Bill Hubbard stuck to ginger cookies for two days until he felt 100 percent again, but is now back in the trough with the rest of us.

Nobody has taken a shower yet. Christian Jensen says 'Everyone smells like a goat.'

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