A-log: in the Canadian fog

Aurora, 50095

Steve Benjamin drives Aurora fast in the fog

M2H Log

07/11/11, 1509 GMT

As predicted the fog has arrived off Nova Scotia. We passed Cape Sable at 1000 EDT (1400 GMT) in visual distance of Cape Sable Lighthouse. After passing Brazil Rock (A navigational hazard 6 feet below the surface at low tide) at 1040,  we eased out the sails, doused the Code Zero and hoisted the A3 spinnaker to head down to a broad reach with spinny and stay sail carrying us along at 10 kts under a wind speed indicated at 16 kts, although there is much doubt about the accuracy of our instruments on that. Before the fog settled in like a cliche we could see the Canadian coast on the horizon about 4 miles away.

We tried a jibe to head in closer to shore to see if there was stronger wind and a better sailing angle. But Steve Benjamin, who was driving and calling tactical shots at the time did not like what we saw (nothing in fact, because of the fog.) We jibed back onto starboard tack, on which we have spend almost the entire race. It’s been a very fast sail, roughly 260 miles in 24 hours. With fewer than 100 nm to go, according to Devin’s calculations, we should finish not long after dark. But he warned, with the winds lifting us and requiring downwind VMG sailing (Velocity Made Good, which means finding the perfect balance between sailing fast and sailing the shortest distance to your destination) it will be a tough, foggy afternoon of racing.

— Alden Bentley, Reuters