January 30, 2019 0800
We spent most all day yesterday playing cat and mouse with Lady Mariposa. They passed us on the first night in the light breeze, we passed them back in the morning hours, and spent a few hours sailing with both Lady Mariposa and Conviction within sight. Lots of close racing considering we are over 100 miles into an offshore race. We experienced extreme shifts in wind direction, and conviction was caught on the wrong side of a cloud and forced to tack out. Seems that move hurt their position, because by late afternoon, they were almost 25 miles behind us.
Lady Mariposa has been on our hip the entire day. They have caught up to us a number of times when we are in upwind mode and racing on our solent, but at the times when we get the right angle and could raise our reacher, we woudl pull away. We were almost close enough at one point to offer the hikers on the rail an Espresso, but then we put the reacher up and ran away from them.
It was a beautiful day as we sailed close to shore all day. There were some small squalls around us, but we stayed dry. About 4pm on a position report we noticed that we were catching up to Wizard, and they were as close to 8 miles ahead of us. Only thing that would explain that is damage to the boat, or they sat in a hole most of the day. Seems that the second is most reasonably true as they are now moving along at 13 knots and adding distance, but we are all very happy to have been in sight of them for a few hours. We put distance on Lady Mariposa as we rounded Eleuthera Island.
Beautiful sunset last night, and the smells of dinner were fantastic… Thank you Bri!!! Did I mention that there's nothing like the smell of bacon in the morning? We are so fortunate to be on this great boat! The sun set beneath the clouds and over the Island of Eleuthera. It was quite a sight!
Nothing beats night sailing. Another beautiful star filed night. The Southern Cross showed us the way for a long portion of our evening until we gybed at about 1am. Nice clean maneuver. Lady Mariposa is still in sight and followed with their own gybe. Now for a couple of days of downwind sailing as we head for the Cuban passage. This morning, we have chosen to short gybe the coast to help get us south, closer to Cuba. Lady Mariposa has chosen an outside route. We'll have to see what pays off. We should reach the half way point by this afternoon. Over night, Conviction choose to go outside Cat Island, and they are in persuit!
Great day ahead for Chim Chim!
Photo credit: Sharon Green - Ultimate Sailing