Update on Glenn

September 18 @ 19:00

This update is from MaryLou, Glenn’s wife, and our two daughters Claire and Nicola from our home in Victoria.

Firstly, we would like to extend our gratitude for your messages and all the support from so many friends through this very challenging time.

We would like to let you know that Glenn is currently safe, in a hospital in California and is receiving exceptional medical care. At this time we are awaiting the results of multiple assessments that will give us a more complete picture of his condition.

We are hoping for the best possible outcome for Glenn and will provide further updates about his condition as they become available.

With gratitude,

MaryLou, Claire and Nicola

Assistance

Thursday, Sept 17, 13:30

Glenn has sent a message asking for medical assistance. We are in communication with the US Coast Guard who is at this moment providing support.

Please hold Glenn in your thoughts. We are all hoping for the best.

We will provide updates when they are available.

It’s getting real

Day 9 Sept 14 39.24 N, 131.45 @ 14:15 6.5 knots

Recovering from my first full gale last night. All is well and no gear broken, or bones! I have to admit I should have just chosen the other tack and headed for shore. I’m headed back to where I started yesterday afternoon. Once I had committed last night conditions quickly deteriorated and tacking in big seas on a very dark night with water coming over the deck was not a good idea so I shortened sail got comfortable and waited it out. Things always look better in the morning in the light of day and we are on a much better course with the wind just off the nose and heading down the coast. My routine for heavy weather is coming back and some of the changes I made for Vic – Maui race are taking a while to get used to. Moving the main sheet traveller aft of the tiller would have worked better with crew on board but for me by myself it’s a bit out of reach. I secured the windward running back stay tackle to aft of the rail to give the mast more support in the big sea running last night. It helps steady the mast in those conditions.  

I’m very much missing getting emails and having conversations with people on Winlink. I’m going to try and talk to some ham land stations just like I talked to Cliff and Alek. Missing our conversations the most. those ties for me are very important to keep me grounded out here.

It’s always the way that once I actually put myself here on the boat that it gets real – the scale of the voyage and what it’s going to take to make it successful. 

First blow

Sunday, Sept 13 @ 21:35 39.39 N, 130.77 W 5.4 knots

There’s  nothing quite like your first blow to find all the chinks in your armour. It’s blowing pretty hard out there and has been for most of today. I have three reefs in the main and the working jib rolled in a little way past the last black reefing stripes. We are doing just over five knots and it is comfortable in a gale-at-sea kinda way.

I spent a couple of hours in the cockpit watching the storm unfold after an hour or so catching up to the wind conditions. In the euphoria of being back at sea I had forgotten to take the anchor off the bow when leaving the Straits and although I secured it well, not well enough for the conditions we are experiencing today.

So with my new offshore gear on, I faced my old nemesis “the guy with the fire hose”. After crawling up the deck I got all snuggled in to the bow with harness attached and a line to re-secure the anchor in my free hand. West Wind is plowing the Pacific at 5 1/2 knots with the anchor – a fine 40 lb 
plow itself. As soon as I leaned through the pulpit to lasso the anchor, the guy with the fire hose starts soaking me down. The bow is rising and falling about six feet with each wave burying the anchor every four seconds along with me. The big consolation here is that the water is, well not warm but it sure ain’t Cadboro Bay either. This is when all that practice doing the one handed knots really pays off. After what seems like an eternity on the waterboard I feel water start to trickle in my boots and it’s on its way to my neck as well. This voyage was made out to be a big deal so I laid down some serious coin for “offshore rain gear” and I’m here to tell you after all my voyages I have never found rain gear that is any match for the guy with the fire hose, it’s impossible. The rodeo with the anchor is now complete and I disentangled myself from my safety gear kind of like Houdini and made my way back to the comfort and relative safety of the cockpit. Mission complete!

I think we will be in this little commotion for about 12 to 18 hours, at least that’s how long they usually last. We are hunkered down for the duration and I have a can of split pea and ham soup on the stove. This gale has been good for me. It reminds me of all things I need to do to be prepared and what to do as it builds. 
There has been some rain as well and along with the waves it will clean all that smoke and soot residue off the decks.
I have a good course and once this has passed, I hope to be in a good position to head for a way point in the ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone).

The ITCZ is visible as a band of clouds encircling Earth near the Equator.

Note: The Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms because of its monotonous, windless weather, is the area where the northeast and southeast trade winds converge. It encircles Earth near the thermal equator though its specific position varies seasonally. Source: Wikipedia

Heading in to a low pressure area

Recording barograph measures atmospheric pressure

Day 8 Sunday, Sept 13 @ 08:13 40.01 N, 129.96 W

Glenn is still experiencing communications difficulties on WestWind II so daily updates are minimal for the time being.

“Nice to have weather report. Big low moving in below me so decided to chill last night and move on slowly. South wind on the nose”.

Glenn’s current position (small green circle) in upper centre on earthnullschool
animated weather website

Update 09:03
You would love it if you could be transported here at the moment. The clouds, the sky and the mercury ocean are unbelievable! Wish I could send a photo. I could try and sketch it but fear I would not do it justice but maybe I will try anyway. It’s the colours, the shapes and that line – so finite so dramatic.