I feel like I had proper trade winds for the first time Monday morning which seemed to be a little more consistent than Sunday, and I slowly moved more to the east which allowed me to go a little faster. The forecasted winds are not supposed to be very strong all the way to the equator though.
I was stuck in a band of cloud in the last 24 hours with very variable winds from the north to the east and from 22 knots to six knots. I had to tack over onto port when the breeze went to the north for a couple of hours. Not much I can do about the advance of Virbac, I hope to be able to get close to JP's speeds in the next day or so but the pessimist in me says I will bleed till the equator. We will see, not much I can do apart from sail as fast as I can.
I got my batteries up to 100% on Sunday for the first time since the Indian Ocean and filled up my water supply to the max. I celebrated with a shave just before I tacked, the first shave of the race, true to my word I shaved it into the style voted for by my fans on Facebook. I kept the beard for a couple of days, but finally got rid of it today - it did not quite suit me!
Conditions are good onboard Hugo Boss today and there seems to be a little more wind than yesterday but still up and down and shifting up to 50 degrees without the aid of any squalls. During the last two nights I have had more wind than the day time and it has been more stable allowing for more night naps. This is better as it is sweltering inside the boat during the day.
The route looks fairly simple up to the equator and across the doldrums. At the moment it looks like I will have an easier crossing than those in front and I will cross further west which should theoretically be easier. You can never tell with the doldrums though! The forecasts for the north Atlantic indicate it could be difficult to cross the high pressure so there may be opportunity there. I watch with interest.