In the windward passage

We are about 28 hours ito the race now, and we’re in the Windard Passage between Cuba and Haiti. We came withing 13 mile of CUba before tacking – close enough to see it, and as close as we are going to get. The water is gorgeously blue, the temperature is about perfect (on deck at leas – just what trade wind sailing should be, exceptthat of course we are beating directly into the wind. We’ve not seen much life at all, but we do see plenty of plastic. The mostfrequent object seems to be little white plastic spoons, as from ice-crea cups. THe blue surface of the water is littered with little flakes of white polystyrene fast food containers, like petals. As for the racing – well we had a fabulous start. We were’nt first through the line, and we were on the downwind end of it, and then we all had to tack for a windward mark close to the shore. Some boats – including the Great Enemy, tacked too early, while a few, including Derry and DLL seemed to make the tack fine, but then they all arrived at the mark at the same time and got in eachother’s way – at least that’s how it looked to me. We wen ounnd after the confusion, and before ong we were leaving Jamaica with 11 boats visible behind us. THank you, Eric!
SO the racing since then has been about keeping ahead – tacing to cover the boats behind as necessary, and balancing boat speed and wind agle as best we can. Last night many of the boats were really close – a constellation of nav lights, mostly red, and a few gren Old Pulteny seemed to be sailing particularly fast – there was a time, during a shifty patch of wind as a new breeze setted in, when they were definitely ahead, but with Meg on the helm it didn’t take long to pull away from them again.ANd now we ca see I think CVs strung out behind us in a line – I guess we’ll have to get used to this leading from the front. Nerve racking as it is.
We’ve also celebrate Keving B’s birthday today – cake with chocolate frsoting, and singing in the cockpit. Not bad for the first 24 hours of racing.

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