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Monday, May 26, 2003

Currently due south of Halifax, Nova Scotia ...

/Message posted by Peter 22:57


I have a flight that lands at Logan on Friday at 5pm and plan to rent a car and drive down. Are people staying at any specific place in Newport?

Best guess ETA? Derek's thinking Friday night/early am? Whose bringing the air horns??

Ian Cohen
Peter 22:48


Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 7.7 knots
Heading 290 T
Wind 16 knots
Direction SW
Bar 1020 Steady
Position N30 14.132 W062 16 919.
Time 15:10 UTC 26 May 03
DTF Newport: 799 nm

/Message posted by Peter 22:45

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Hello from Spirit of Canada,

The good weather and excellent sailing continues. Overnight it was a little slow but today we are back up to speed. I'm under 1000 miles to go now and the weather looks good for today and tomorrrow. Tomorrow night and Tuesday there will be a frontal system pass through that will bring stronger winds, possibly as much at 35 knots. I am sailing fast but not too aggressive as I don't want to break anything at this point. Everything is working fine on board and other than the food getting a little boring, everything is good.
One of my favourite midday snacks is crackers with peanut butter and honey. Bryce gave me a jar of natural New Zealand honey before leaving New Zealand and it is the best honey that I have ever tasted. I'll have to ask him to send me another jar soon, as this one is all but finished.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Brian Hancock on a job well done on being the "voice of the Around Alone". Brian, you have given the race a real personality. Since I have not had a chance to read all the updates while I'm at sea, one of the first things I would like to do is sit down at the website and read about the race from the beginning. One of the downfalls of competing in the race is that you really don't get to enjoy all the stories that are generated. And from what I have read and hear, Brian has done a great job. The next thing I want to read is Brian's new book.

Take Care,


Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 9.6 knots
Heading 329T
Wind 16.9 knots
Direction E
Bar 1021 Steady
Position N27 49.606 W060 33 183.
Time 15:07 UTC 25 May 03
DTF Newport: 970 nm

/Message posted by Peter 16:01



As an avid follower of your voyage and reports I continue to marvel at what you have accomplished both personally and the interest you have brought to this event. As a Montrealer I have been personally disappointed that the Montreal Gazette has not seen fit to follow your exploits or written an occasional story. Well, this all has changed as of yesterday, so Kudos to you having now made the local paper.

Continued good sailing as your voyage nears its end in Newport as well as for your future endeavours. Also congratulations to the rest of the Spirit of Canada team with a special mention for Ann-Marie.

Doug Sladen

/Message posted by Peter 11:52



As I type this you're probably about 3 hours away from a 3-digit DTF. Fabulous work! Thanks for the entertainment and inspiration. May the rest of your trip go well. And just as you enjoy the changing seasons, I hope you also enjoy periods of time on land and on the water. But there's one thing I've always wanted to know from ocean racers such as yourself: Once on land, just how long does it take everything to stop moving? ;)

And to the rest of the Spirit of Canada team, a big congratulations on getting this far. Your work has not gone unnoticed.


Ed VanderPloeg
Vancouver, BC

/Message posted by Peter 08:36

Saturday, May 24, 2003

/Message posted by
Peter 12:42


Hello from Spirit of Canada

Happy Memorial Day Weekend if you are in the United States. The sailing has been very good for the last twenty four hours. It should last all the way up to Bermuda and then a frontal system will pass through on Monday night or early Tuesday. It will bring stronger winds but hopefully I will still be sailing in a downwind direction. Today is sunny and hot again although the temperatures are starting to moderate in the evenings. I can tell I'm getting close to Bermuda as the temperature remains almost constant between 78 and 84 degrees year around there. Talk about paradise. But I still think I prefer the seasons. I'm not sure how close I will pass to Bermuda but Alan has asked me to let him know if I'm close enough to see the island. Bermuda has a number of large reefs running out from it and it is best to give it a
wide berth without detailed charts. My last week in the Around Alone 2002/03 coming up.

Take Care


Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 8.6 knots
Heading 327T
Wind 16.7 knots
Direction E
Bar 1020 Steady
Position N25 06.224 W058 32 740.
Time 15:33 UTC 24 May 03
DTF Newport: 1160 nm

/Message posted by Peter 12:31

Friday, May 23, 2003
Hello from Spirit of Canada,

It has been slow progress since yesterday morning. The aftermath of the huge low pressure system that has moved to the East is very evident. There are huge rolling waves from the Northeast, making our sailing upwind like climbing hills. There is very little wind right now so it is a little frustrating to say the least.

I have looked at the grib (weather) file for the next week or so and it does not look too promising for a quick trip to the finish line. This of course changes my prediction for the finish time, it's now not so predictable. For those of you planning on being in Newport for the finish please keep watching the website and remember this is sailboat racing at it's best. The one thing that is the great equalizer in these races is the weather. I will endeavour to race as fast as possible and the arrival time will be more predictable as I get closer.

Today is hot and sunny. I have almost reached the latitude of Key West Florida and the weather feels just like it does down there. The Bermuda High is starting to build again on top of us so that will contribute to the light airs as well. Everything is fine on board; I'm glad I broughtvsome extra water for this leg, it sure has helped in warding off dehydration.

Take Care,


Boat speed 5.0
Wind Speed 7.6
Wind Direction East
Barometer 1018 rising
Position N 22 47.867 W 056 36.477
Time 15.35hr UTC
DTF 1342nm

/Message posted by Peter 11:56

Thursday, May 22, 2003

See May 24 posting above ...

/Message posted by Peter 18:29


Hello from Spirit of Canada,

Overnight last night I had some great sailing and covered a lot of distance. About 4 this morning it all changed with the arrival of a low pressure ridge and cold front. From that time till late this afternoon, I have been doing continuous sail changes and adjustments trying to keep the boat going. There are numerous squalls around with lots of rain and even some thunder and lightning. I didn't get much sleep so am very tired. Currently, the wind has died away again and I have just taken the reefs out of the mainsail, probably for the 20th time. All other systems on the boat are working fine. There is another threatening cloud heading our way so I must go back on deck, all for now.

Take Care,


Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 7.3 knots
Heading 4 T
Wind 9.5 knots
Direction W
Bar 1011 steady
Position N21 38.019 W055 15 470.
Time 19:15 UTC 22 May 03
DTF Newport: 1439 nm

/Message posted by Peter 17:49


Just another message to cheer Derek on to the ever closer finish line.To think he left when the NHL season began and may even be here to see the Stanley Cup final.Thanks Peter for keeping us posted. Let Derek know we can't wait to see him cross the finish line. After all he has gone through to be able to take 3rd place overall must bring him a great deal of satisfaction.We know that whatever he plans to do after the race he will do with his unflagging enthusiam, good humour and gentlemanliness.

Sydney Moscoe

/Message posted by Peter 13:13


To Derek on SOC

Having been out of touch since April 30, I am releaved and enthused with SOC's progess, being more than half-way through leg-5. Wishing you good winds and a well deserved triumphant fininsh in Newport.

Bill Boyes
Pickering, Ontario

/Message posted by Peter 10:43



I can't make it down to be there when you get in, but count me among the many proud Canadians who are getting more excited as you approach the finish line. Keep safe for the rest of the journey, and thanks for the constant and complete updates.

Peter Hurlbut

Parry Sound (on Georgian Bay)

/Message posted by Peter 10:42

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 9.8 knots
Heading 309T
Wind 20.5 knots
Direction SW
Bar 1012 steady
Position N18 37.317 W052 27 018.
Time 15.05 UTC 21 May 03
DTF Newport: 1698 nm

/Message posted by Peter 12:01


Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 7.1 knots
Heading 328T
Wind 12.5 knots
Direction SE
Bar 1013 steady
Position N16 01.158 W051 21 350.
Time 15:18 UTC 20 May 03
DTF Newport: 1842 nm

/Message posted by Peter 11:58

Monday, May 19, 2003

Hello from Spirit of Canada,

I have passed the half way point and now have less than 2000 miles to go to the finish. For the past four days the trade winds have really helped us along. The trades are starting to fade now and will all but disappear by the time I reach the latitude of Antigua. After that I will have some light downwind conditions and then a series of low pressure systems that I will have to negotiate all the way up to Bermuda. After Bermuda, it's just a short hop across the Gulf Stream and into the finish line. I have done the race between Bermuda and Newport a number of times before so I feel at home in those waters.

The temperature is starting to come down a bit already and it is a comfortable 84 degrees inside the boat. Outside, it is even cooler. It is overcast today so the sun is not scorching us as normal.

Thank you so much for the emails of encouragement, they are much appreciated. As you can imagine, the days are getting longer and the anxiety of getting to the finish line is increasing. The emails help me concentrate on the goal. If all goes well, my target date for the finish is approximately Saturday the 31st of May. It is still a fair distance to predict with any certainty but I will continue to calculate the ETA and update it as I go along.

Take Care,


Spirit of Canada # 84
Speed 9.2 knots
Heading 328T
Wind 12.5 knots
Direction E
Bar 1010 steady
Position N13 53.057 W049 32 967.
Time 20:00.UTC 19 May 03
DTF Newport: 1998 nm

/Message posted by Peter 22:31


mike and mary ann,
looking forward to seeing you guys in newport. can not wait.
derek, go man go. sail sunny side up and fast.
beer is on ice.

Keith Robinson

/Message posted by Peter 22:29


As you speed homeward, spring is arriving in the St.John River valley, bringing a new sailing season. Soon we'll be on the water, talking about you and reliving your amazing adventure. Few if any of us will ever succeed in crossing the oceans that you have, but pardon us if we feel as if we've been along for the ride. Your updates have been wonderful and inspiring. We are so proud of you as a sailor and perhaps more so as a person, exemplifying those qualities we consider Canadian. Soon you will have completed your dream and I will no longer have my daily routine of checking your website and position. How great it would be to have Spirit of Canada and her skipper sail up the St. John to Fredericton! Well done Derek, Godspeed.

Doug Morrison

/Message posted by Peter 10:28