By Brian Hancock
OK, so the McIntyre Ocean Race fleet is almost into the Horse Latitudes. I know what you are thinking. Horses? Yup, and here’s why. According to legend, and you have to love that for a disclaimer, ‘according to legend’ the sailors of old (another disclaimer – how old do you have to be to be an old sailor? I think that I qualify). The sailors of old who didn’t understand the vagaries of Mrs. High, better know as the South Atlantic High or the St. Helena High, would find themselves stuck in the middle of a place with no wind. So here is what they did. And this may be a bit upsetting for some.
As part of their cargo they had horses. I know, back then they needed horses for transportation. This was pre Uber or Lyft. However, if you have ever been on a farm and seen how much horses drink, and they drink a lot for those sailors who might have cut the corner on the high pressure area, they found themselves stuck in a windless zone. It was a case of either the horses go, or we die of thirst, so they chucked the horses overboard; hence the Horse Latitudes.
The leaders are getting close to deciding if they should throw their horses overboard, while the bulk of the rest of the fleet are still trying to decide how to outwit Neptune as they get ready to cross the equator. There are some, namely Outlaw, Evrika and, well yes you may have guessed it, Godspeed, who are forging a path of their own heading down the east side of the High getting ready for a long, bumpy ride to Cape Town. The rest of the fleet seem to be trucking along in fairly decent conditions. I see on the Yellow Brick tracker that Maiden covered 524 nautical miles in the last 24-hours. Impressive, but also, well, not true. There must be a glitch in the software. Or maybe it was just some pixie dust.
It’s a beautiful Fall Friday here in Massachusetts so I am going to sign off, maybe go for a fish taco with chipotle sauce and see you tomorrow. Hancock out.