Day 115 Christmas Day 25/12/13

 

Dec 25. 2013Position:  33.09 S, 80.46 E

Merry Christmas! Trying hard to steer 330 true but wind and waves are fighting me at every turn. Very, very bumpy ride. Difficult to maintain a steady course. Not much westing but will continue to head to 30 S. I am glad that Santa stopped by.

Heading: 310 T Boat Speed: 3 knots Wind: S 10 knots Swell: S 3 metres Cloud Cover: 90% Temp: 23 C Baro: 1020 Miles in last 24hrs: 60 nm Volts: 13.2 

 

Day 116 Rigging failure 26/12/13

 

Dec 26, 2013Position: 32.55 S, 80 17 E

The weather forecast was for calm. I had time on my hands, so decided to take advantage of it and do a thorough inspection of the rigging and sails. I started with the standing rigging upper and lower shrouds and mast head shrouds. First I removed the protective tape that stops chafe of the sails against the turnbuckle cotter pins. I had only done the port aft lower shroud when I noticed that one of the wire strands had separated from the swaging, commonly known as rigging failure. I was very taken aback and quickly removed the rest of the tape and inspected the remaining five shrouds. To my horror, I found one more wire strand had broken loose, this time on the port forward shroud. 

My mind started to work on solutions. I came up with temporary ones that satisfied me and that I thought would work, but for how long I don’t know. I started to realize that this had to be repaired before I could go any further. Lots of questions. Could I go on to Africa and make repairs there? How many more cyclones could I expect in getting there?  Australia is 1700 miles back to the east. Africa is a thousand miles further away than Australia. What would I do if I lost my mast? Could I still use the radio? What about the sat phone? I still had a connection as far away as 400 miles from Australia. That may help if the radio would not work.

I emailed my rigger Brent Jacobi from Blackline Marine for his opinion of what to do to fix the rig temporarily. I emailed MaryLou to keep her informed and give me her thoughts. My very good friend Tony Gooch got an email for his take on the situation, and then I emailed Ron Kolody my weather master and informed him of the problem and his thoughts about the weather if I turned back. I heard from most of them within the hour. Then I had to make a very difficult decision. Which way to go? The afternoon wore on and I had my ham sked and asked them to comment on the situation.

The more I thought about it, the more it made sense to go back to Australia and make repairs there. It should take about three weeks, 1775 nm.

I couldn’t see myself making it to Cape Horn early enough to make a safe rounding this season. It means the end of my goal, my dream.  I am not happy about it, but nor do I want to be caught out again and have to ask for help. I will go slowly and make my way back and then see from there. 

As the days go by, I will see how it feels to let go of something I have worked hard towards for ten years.


Course:
Becalmed Speed: 0 knots Waves 2 metres, liquid mercury Wind 0 knots Cloud 20% Temp 25 C Baro 1022 Miles in last 24 hrs: 55 nmVolts 13.3

Day 114 Water, westing and wishing 24/12/13

 Dec 24, 2013Position: 34 25 S, 82 33 E

All is well. Lots of wind and rain here at the tail end of ‘Bruce’. Have filled the main water tanks 100% and now filling my 10 gallon spare! My batteries are very low with little prospect of sunshine today. 

I will be heading north at 18:00 hrs today to get around the hi. It may take me a few days as I’ll try to get some westing in as well.

Wishing you happy holidays. I miss you beyond belief. 

Miss u too.

Miss u by MaryLouCourse 255 T Speed 5 knots Wind S 10-15 knots Waves S 2 metres , N 3 metres Cloud 100% Temp 17 C Baro 1014 Miles in last 24 hrs: 60 nm Volts 13.10

From all of us, to all of you

GoingSolo

The past four months of sharing the ‘Going Solo’ journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

We’ve watched Glenn navigate all kinds of weather and sea conditions and have enjoyed his vivid descriptions of daily life on board West Wind II. We’ve learned something about the daily challenges of maintaining a sailing vessel and what it takes to keep him and the boat moving forward. We’ve also felt the inescapable emotional ups and downs of a solo sailor that are every bit as challenging.

It’s been a privilege for me to get your comments and messages of support and pass them on to Glenn. We thank you for your interest and kind words. It means the world to us to know we have a thoughtful, caring online and IRL community.  

Over the next few months, Glenn will be heading into what is unquestionably the most difficult part of his circumnavigation. We are especially thankful for the expertise and generosity of our team of ham radio operators in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa (and soon Argentina) who show up day in and day out (and often in the middle of the night) to provide critical weather forecasts and stellar advice on routing. They also show up in a big way to reach out in friendship, which is probably the single most important ingredient that is keeping
Glenn going. 

Special thanks to our sponsors and supporters who provide support financially, and goods and services in kind. It is very much appreciated.

From all of us to all of you, the very best of the season and a happy new year. 

Glenn, MaryLou and family. 

 

Day 113 Light breeze, large swells 23/12/13

Dec 23, 2013Position: 33.55 S,  83.37 E

Thanks for the email updates, they are like gold to me. They nourish my sagging spirit.

Watching “Bruce”, along with the inability to send or receive email has caused some drama over the last few days. My weather reports tell me to not be overly worried …but I am keeping an eye over my shoulder. I am at the moment, becalmed in very light breezes and rather large swells. I am forever having to be patient and tell myself that there is nothing I can  do when the wind is not there. 

I’m glad I got water when I did as we have not had any rain since. We are rolling really badly right now and this is hard to do. It keeps skipping to some other place on the page and I have to rescue it. I am so thankful we have this technology though and can’t imagine not having it!

I saw my first Albatross in the Indian Ocean this afternoon. He landed for a short time. I think it was a Royal. Because there is not enough wind to sail at the moment, I have been going over the boat checking the rigging and doing small jobs like mending lines and checking my storm gear. I also have the sleeping bag on deck to air out as I have been using it lately because the sheep skin is a little hot. It has cooled off today so I will be snuggling into the sheep skin tonight.

I’m excited to open my presents from all of you. Thank you so much.  

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 1.04.58 PM

UPDATE: 

Lots of wave action from the North and the South. Great news… it seems VK6KPS (Winkink station) is back on line. 

Course 255 T Speed  5 knots Wind S 10-15  Waves N 3m S 2m Cloud 65 % Temp 22 C Baro 1018 Miles in last 24 hrs: 60 nm Volts 13.10