Lat: 17 31.59′ S
Long: 74 19.62′ E
Inst Speed: 11.6
Wind Dir: 146
Wind Speed: 15.8000
Distance last 24hr: 299.450897982553756
Distance to finish: 19018.32
Mohsin puts a call in to race HQ
Squeezie jam on a cracker, lunch of champions
Ground hog day – port tack flying a hull

Email from the boat to shore: 

From: OmanTri <omantri@
To: update <updateoman@
Subject: groundhog day
Date: 18/01/2009 02:56:51

Hi everyone
well it’s a bit of a ground hog day today… we are pretty much upwind on
port tack like we have been since 24 hours ago, we have some cloudy squalls
that come through around once an hour in the last 6-8 hours and we have
been sailing with staysail and 2 reef – a bit under powered in normal wind
conditions and ok in the squalls – trouble is you can’t tell how much wind
there is in the squall. Mohsin and I were on deck ( giving Loik a lie in )
and go nailed by some heavy rain – and 22 kts of wind – the rain makes you
need to shut your eyes it’s so strong. We have this all day tomorrow as
ell – we need the wind to go back to the east a bit more to make life a bit
faster and to make quicker progress south – at the moment it is heading us a
bit too far W for our liking. in betweeen squalls it’s bright sunshine, and
yesterday whilst giving Theirry a holiday i got a bit sunburned face, too
easy to do with a cooling breeze and spray around – suncream is essential

The wind generator is great in these conditions – we are currently charging
with George ( jury rig starting system seems ok for now) around 40 mins
every 24 hours – which is nice – nice not to have the noise, and nice not to
add to the heat. In the south as we will be downwind much of the time the
wind generator will be less effective, so will be grateful for the heat of
George to dry stuff and warm bodies etc.

Speaking of the heat – today’s biggest news is that the temperature onboard
has dropped – to BELOW 30degreesC I noticed it during the night when i
work up and had to switch the fan off by my bunk as i was a bit chilly !
now that’s not happened before and it’s really a first sign that things are
changing. Sea temp has dropped too – from 30 to 27 it’s all got a long way
to go 4 – 5 days by which time we’ll be somewhere close to 32S and turning
East to start or circumnavigation of the southern ocean. Chatting to
Hoochie last night we were both looking forward to the challenges that
brings -as sailors who have done winter and spring series on the south coast
of england we have some sort of idea about getting dressed to go sailing in
cold weather, but these races are 4 hours long at most, so it’ll be
interesting to see how we need to adapt to doing that for 30 days at a time
Mohsin keeps very quiet when we talk about the cold ! His coldest
experience he was telling us yesterday was a visit to the snow dome in
Dubai, but that was only for an hour…we’ll look after him though, and he
is very good at seeing what others are doing and wearing, and deciding for
himself the best way.

In these reletively stable conditions, books and mags are being read, the
trick it seems in book selection is not to have brought anything too
interesting – a problem we have all suffered from – we are reading too
quickly, and may have to re-read books before the big book swap off. I am
looking forward to reading Hoochie’s book by Richard Hammond probably more
than he is looking forward to reading mine about a Blackpool Doorman

and finally – what about last night’s epic final, decided on penalties –
that’s great – Muscat must have GONE OFF last night – real shame to miss
that – we were there when Oman won one of the group games – and that was big
enough – cars tooting horns, people hanging out of car windows…so can
only imagine how it must have been last ngiht. We are going to have plum
cake today to celebrate the win – and that’s quite close to the end of our
fresh food….

Weather Router’s advice: 

From: Commanders’ Weather <info@
To: ,Musandam <omantri
Subject: weather Sun 1-18
Date: 18/01/2009 14:14:50

To: Charles Darbyshire and crew of “Musandam”

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 19 18s/ 74 07e at 1200utc Sun, Jan 18, 2009

Prepared: 1400utc Sun, Jan 18, 2009

SummaryÖ Expect SE trades will back to more E next 24-36 hours allowing for
better boat speed

1) Latest GFS does back the winds from SE to E next 24-36 hours so think
you will be able head S

more easily then.

2) It is ok though to get some westing in until then for better boat speed.

a) Then heading due S after 12 utc Mon .

3) After 00 utcTue as you approach and get S of 30n look for winds to back
into the NE-N and diminish

to 10-14 kts.

4) This will force you SE but have to be careful about getting sucked into
the high which by 12 utc Wed

will be 33s/ 83e

5) So recommend a gybe to starboard around 6 utc when winds back to NW and
head S.

6) Around 00 utc Thu you will start to feel a strong frontal system
approaching from the W.

7) This will initially clock winds more NNW and then can head E on port
ahead of this front late this


8) You will have to make a decision though midweek as to how to handle the
situation for late week.

9) The further S you go of 40s the higher the sea state and winds will be
with the approaching front.

10) But it may be necessary to get down closer to 45s by next weekend as you
will get caught by the

high following the front if you are still up at 40s.

11) You may have to get further S than shown on Thu/Fri to avoid this light
air .

12) Let us know what you are willing to deal wind in terms of SW-W-NW
tailwinds and seas as we enter

into the roaring 40s.

RoutingÖ You can get some westing in with the SE breeze for better boat
speed., Then head due S

After 12 utc Mon. As winds clock thru NE quadrant after 00
utc Tue you wil be forced SE.

Then suggest heading S for a time 6 utc Wed to 00 utc Thu
to avoid getting sucked into


Then will need to decide how to handle the front and
long term weather pattern discussed


Estimated positions below.

Wind directions are TRUE, wind speed in kts, and time is UTC

Sun, Jan 18

18: 110-130/18-23

WeatherÖVariable cloudiness with scattered squally shower or 2

Seas build to 6-9 ft E swell

Mon, Jan 19

00: 100-120/17-22

06: 100-120/18-23

12: 090-110/15-20 nr 25s/74e

18: 080-100/15-20

WeatherÖPartly cloudy ñ sct squally shower possible early

Seas 5-8 ft S swell

Tue, Jan 20 ñneed to be careful about getting sucked E into high

Winds stronger W and lighter E

00: 060-080/12-16

06: 050-070/12-16

12: 010-030/10-14 nr 31 30s/ 73e

18: 360-020/10-14

WeatherÖPartly cloudy

SeaÖ 5-8 ft developing SW swell

Wed, Jan 21

00: 350-010/12-16

06: 330-350/12-16 gybe to starboard and head S

12: 300-320/15-20 nr 36 30s/75e

18: 300-320/15-20

WeatherÖPartly cloudy

Seas 6-10 ft SW swell

Thu, Jan 22

00: 320-340/ 17-22 Gybe to port and heading ESE

06: 320-340/ 18-25

12: 320-340/ 18-25 nr 39 30n/ 79e

18: 320-340/ 18-25

WeatherÖPartly cloudy


Fri, Jan 23

00: 320-340/ 25-30

12: 320-340/ 30-40 nr 41s/86 30e

WeatherÖConsiderable cloudiness with squalls to 40+
SeasÖ10-15 ft

Best regards,

Tom Mattus

A selection of pictures from today: