We just keep sailing along, today we had the whisker pole up and sailed wing and wing for about 6 hours or so. We took the pole down when we were having trouble keeping the sails full with the rolling, the main especially would flog then load up and the whole boat shudders when that happens, it's not a good feeling and not particularly good for the sails or rigging. So now we are sailing a COG (course over ground) of 290 or so while our course should be 260 - we can't sail deeper though and keep the sails full. We might be able to if we had the spinnaker up alone but we don't want to sail that at night as squalls do come up. At least 3 boats have blown out their spinnakers - we certainly don't want that to happen as we only have one chute.
One of the best things about the rally is that people are there to help if needed. We had boats ready to stand by and help when our rudder issue became apparent. One boat had a broken piece of their autopilot but another boat had the same model as spare and was able to meet up with them and transfer the part - that saved 2000 miles of handsteering (it was earlier in the leg). Another boat has broken an intermediate shroud and boats have offered their spare rigging if needed to fix it. The support is one of the best parts. Just knowing there are a number of boats close that would willingly help is so nice - it's a big ocean! Without the regular check in on SSB we wouldn't know how everyone is. We are too far apart to hail on VHF so it would be hard to find another sailboat to help if we didn't have the regular SSB updates.
We haven't been sailing that fast for the past several days, the wind has lightened up - we are sailing at about 5 knots now (over ground). At that speed we still have roughly a week to go. Having to shorten sail while the wind was higher due to the rudder has cost us probably 36 to 48 hours unfortunately.
Hopefully we'll get a bit more wind and make it in less than a week - we are all looking forward to reaching land now. I told Lee I'm not sure if it's going to be paradise or not - but I'm pretty sure that for many people reaching any dry land after 3-4 weeks at sea sure makes it seem like paradise.