It has been a fast but hard day of sailing today. The wind has been between 5-22 with 4-6 foot seas. When the wind decreases the seas have a greater effect on the ride. The opposite is also true that with a stronger wind the ride is bumpy but more predictable. The worst ride is very little wind and large seas. What little wind there is in the sails gets rocked out and the crockery gets broken below. So, far the next week you will be seeing 2 words written quite frequently. They are the collateral of “Harry Sucks” and they are HAND STEERING. Harry, the auto helm, has had difficulty this trip. Whether it is a compass issue or performance pressure, he has let the team down. About half the time he is OK but this next 1000 miles to Newport will be a challenge for old Harry. The latest forecast gives us 15-25 knot winds with higher gusts. The plan is to keep benefiting from this high pressure we have been riding for the few couple days (15-20 knots on a beam reach with 4-6 foot seas). Our next hurdle, in a few days, will be the Gulf Stream and a low pressure that should be just leaving the area when we arrive. I have a lot of respect for the Gulf Stream and we have been positioning ourselves south in order to ride the current north and exit in line for Newport. We will watch this very carefully (We are using Predictwind over an Iridium Go! Satellite Setup that is slow but so far excellent). Worst case scenario is a NE wind against the north bound Gulf Stream current. As in a low pressure. I have seen those waves (Bermuda Race 2012, right Steve?!) and they are sphincter tightening monsters that Heldeleine will avoid at all costs. Any of you Gulf Stream junkies out there are free to send a note our way if you see anything interesting in the next several days. So, hand steering will be the order of the day and hopefully we will be in Newport by next Wednesday or Thursday. But one day at a time. Regards!