Last night saw our distance to go fall below 1 000 nautical miles. Our nose is pointed firmly at Rio, and chances are that we will be there within the week – somewhere between Thursday and Saturday seems most likely.
The mood on the boat changes subtly by the day. There is a term for it, not quite Stockholm Syndrome (but earlier post on Dr Google applies). As we get closer to our destination, two conflicting processes are at work.
The first is the obvious mad dash to the finish, although the end is not quite literally in sight. We talk about Rio, what we are going to do, the caipirinhas we are going to drink.
The second is subtler – a vague unease at the approaching end of the trip. The “real” world also starts to impinge, manifest in conversations about what some of us are planning next with our lives. I’m sure that Dr Google will inform us of the term for nostalgia for things not quite yet in the past….
But there are curveballs too. Today’s weather looked like nothing our most-reliable models told us was in store. Instead of trending calms and light winds, we have instead found ourselves slap in the middle of a squall line, with the heaviest weather we have had to contend with so far: winds up to the low 30s (around 60 km/h) and big and messy seas. But these storm clouds do have silver linings – the winds are propelling us in the fastest possible way towards the finish.
And they do seem to be localized. Avanti, the boat that will in all likelihood beat us into second position to the finish and on handicap is some 160 miles (roughly a day’s sailing) ahead of us. At the time of writing, she was making 2 knots towards Rio. We were making 9.
But even we are no longer sure that that’s entirely a good thing.