DAY OF TRANSITION
Spindrift 2 is sailing down the Brazilian coastline in light, 12 kit winds. As expected, the maxi-trimaran has lost some of her advantage on the pace set by the current record holder, but was still 273 nautical miles ahead at 4:15 UTC. In 48 hours' time, the crew must cross a depression off Argentina that will be decisive for their strategy over subsequent days.
In the meantime, this day of transition gives the crew an opportunity to conduct routine on-board checks, as well as to spot a few islands. As part of the Spindrift for Schools - Out of the Classroom series, Dona Bertarelli and the crew tell us about the history of those islands.
4:45 UTC : 273 miles ahead of the current record holder
Distance covered from the start: 4242 miles
Average speed over 24 hours: 19,8 knots
The mascot of the Notre-Dame school of La Trinité-sur-Mer (Britanny-France) in the Southern hemisphere with Christophe Espagnon at the helm.
By Dona Bertarelli
I want to thank all our partner schools, in France and Switzerland, and the 2,000 students who are following us.
Whenever I can, I will be answering your many questions throughout this journey around the planet, a journey that we are taking together to discover the wonders of our world.
With all the crew of Spindrift 2, through our observations and our encounters, not only with marine life, but also with the islands and peninsulas that we pass, with the meteorological phenomena we experience, and with the birds and the stars that accompany us during our voyage, we will help you to live this adventure, like Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s famous book.
We are calling our Spindrift for Schools series - Out of the Classroom.
Today, we will discover the small Brazilian islands of St Peter and St Paul and the island of Fernando de Noronha.
Fernando de Noronha island
It is Thursday night around 2300hrs (UTC), we are approaching the equator, and the watch on deck: Francis, Anthony, Loïck and Thomas, spot a lighthouse in the distance, it’s striking, alone in the middle of nowhere, it reminds us of civilisation. It’s on one of the rocks of St Peter and St Paul made up a dozen or so small islands and rocks some 1,000 km (621 miles) from the Brazilian coast and 630 km (391 miles) from the island of Fernando de Noronha, the nearest land.
They were discovered in 1511 by six Portuguese caravels when one of the boats was shipwrecked on one of the rocks. It is an area that suffers severe thunderstorms, and it was not until 1930 that the first lighthouse was built, replaced in 1995 by the current one, thus ending the perilous navigation in the area.
Whilst this first sign of civilisation is fearsome and unwelcoming, the second, the island of Fernando de Noronha, is spectacularly beautiful. Discovered in 1503 it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site meaning its flora and fauna are protected. The island has an airport, a hospital and a nursery school, with 3,000 people living there year round.
These two archipelagos attract many scientists, including Charles Darwin, who visited them in 1832 during his trip around the world.
If the winds remain favourable to us, our route will perhaps pass not far from another archipelago further south, that of Trinidade and Martin Vaz. These two islands are volcanic in origin, mountainous and rise to 620m in height.
Who knows, some time during the day, perhaps we will catch sight of them?
Message for Notre-Dame school in La Trinité-sur-Mer (France-Britanny)
Primary Classes of Mrs Jeanne Leray, Aline Jouanno and Isabelle Gueganic
The mascot you gave us when we visited your class is here with us. She's sailing the world with us and is now part of the crew. Here are some photos of her at sea.
The picture of the day!
The mascot of Notre-Dame school of la Trinité-sur-Mer (Britanny-France) on board Spindrift 2.
Weather forecast :
Evening weather forecast
28th: approaching the cold front, which has been breaking the trade winds for several days. Slight NE wind...
Overnight: Crossing the cold front, damage limitation.
29: the South Atlantic trade winds return to normal below the cold front: E.NE winds of 15-20 knots. Fine weather.
Head south towards depression developing off Argentina. It is heading eastwards, so we hope to hook on.
30: in the Argentinian low: N.NW winds of 20-25 knots...
Easy going in the mild tropical conditions for Spindrift 2 and its crew. A flat sea and around a dozen knots of wind are still allowing the maxi trimaran to make 22 knots. This period is expected to last at least until tonight, when the arrival of a storm front will create more instability. So, the crew are taking the opportunity to perform the routine checks. The programme for the day: Loic and Antoine will disassemble the helm, Sébastien Marsset will climb the mast and Thierry and François will check the structure of the floats.
Performance-wise, these mild conditions are obviously not ideal. Part of the lead banked in the Northern hemisphere is expected to be lost. But the crew are biding their time and doing all they can to meet a depression off Argentina within the next 48 hours.
Day 7 - Speed board
Race time : 6 days, 3 hours
327 milles ahead of the record holder, Banque Populaire V
Distance covered from the start: 4 067 miles
Distance traveled over 24 hours: 569.5 miles
Speed over 24 hours: 23.7 knots
Sail : Mainsail, gennaker
Area: Tradewinds of the Southern Hemisphere