Day 118 Humbled 28/12/13

Dec 28, 2013

Close up, showing easterly path w red sailboat icon

Position: 33.34 S, 84.04 E

I am completely overcome by the compassionate outpouring of support on the blog for the situation we have found ourselves in. I am still coming to grips with it personally myself and every hour brings different feelings and also possibilities for the future. I am two days into my voyage back to Australia to make repairs. The GPS has been set and we have 1625 nm to go. These will be cautious miles, keeping our rigging situation in mind. At the moment we are becalmed but have just finished a 24 hr run of 100 miles and just like before, we will take it one day at a time. So far, I’m pleased with the temporary repairs I have done. We had twenty knots of wind last night with 3 metre swells and it didn’t seem to compromise the rig. As a matter of fact, being becalmed is apt to do as much damage as a good blow. The death roll is constant and all over
the place.

I am very humbled by all the kind and thoughtful responses to our present situation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I still feel a little numb, but that will pass and I will report on the beautiful world around me so MaryLou can post it to the Going Solo blog. 

Dec 28, 2013 #2

Easterly path (in red) relative to westerly (in blue)

The sun has set, I have finished dinner and had a nice cup of tea. We’re still moving along at 4-5 knots, the wind is very light, with gigantic swells, graceful, silent, majestic, moving quickly as if with purpose like they had a very important appointment somewhere. There is a kind of discipline and order about them. They barge through all the other surface waves with an unfeeling unattached military order. The scale is nothing short of awesome.

I stood in the cockpit for ages completely spellbound at the sight of West Wind literally climbing the face of these behemoths and sliding down the other side. These were not the animated melodramatic Hollywood version, these are real. They are born in the vicious lows of the great southern ocean hundreds of miles away and driven by the power left in them to travel unchallenged to the shores of continents thousands of miles away.  At this stage they are graceful and somewhat benign. Lost is the legendary breaking “rogue” wave of their earlier form. Tamed by the loss of the wind that gave birth to them in the beginning. They fill the horizon like an army surging across the land in battalions. Strong and unyielding passing under West Wind as if she were a toy boat in a bath tub. I stand in my usual spot one foot on either side of the cockpit holding onto the aft edge of the dodger, swaying with WW II as we let them pass beneath us. The sky is bright blue with huge bleached white cotton batten clouds floating silently above these dark green undulations.

Once again I am a lone witness, humbled by this great spectacle of nature. My heart soars and I feel a rush that fills my body and soul. I shall miss being here to witness these forces of nature.




  1. Trevor Hayward says

    Dear Glenn So sorry to read your rotten news. I am sure that no words of commiseration by me can match those you have already received. All I can say is that thank God you are a crazy old bugger and we need more like you, a lot more. Have a grog when you get home. Trevor (Hayward)

  2. susan & Ian Grant says

    We are so proud of all that you have accomplished. Take care of yourself and the boat on your journey back to Australia. We are thinking of you. Ian, Susan & Katriona

  3. Graham Smith says

    You continue to inspire me and many other people around the world, it is never too late to follow your dreams and I hope that this setback does not diminish your wish to complete what you started out to do. Stay safe – this planet is still awesome.

  4. Alan Strickland says

    It is a wonderful thing you are doing in the way you are inspiring so many with your love of nature and the sea and your wonderful curiosity about your relationship with it. The circumnavigation by the rules may have ended with the failed rigging, but perhaps a more significant voyage has just begun…our love, respect, and prayers continue for you, Glenn. Alan and Marylou in Victoria, BC

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thank you Alan. This does cause one to stop and think differently about the ‘more significant voyage’ for sure. I’ll send you comment to him. ML

  5. Your travels are part of my daily reading since day one. I cannot come close to understanding the shock and disappointment in discovering the damage. Hang in there and continue to be safe. Sincerely Tim Kende

  6. Graham Barnard says

    Glen and MaryLou We will still appreciate your achievement. Stay safe and enjoy the beauty of this wonderful world. Cheers, Graham

  7. Kathryn McCannell says

    Hi Glenn The vast and powerful beauty of nature comes across so vividly in your posts. Grant and I are so sorry to hear about the rigging – we wonder what “plan B” will be – or plan c, d, e or f – maybe it’s repairs and setting out again, solo, or with MaryLou – a different journey than anticipated! We are glad you are safe and look forward to updates. Kathryn

  8. Colleen Schur says

    I have been following your voyage for the past few months. Look forward to your daily blog. Feel so badly that you have had this crisis. Hope you can get back to Australia and are able to continue onward. I’m sure this is heartbreaking for you. I’m sure I speak for everyone who follows you to say hang in there, we are all pulling for you. Colleen Schur

  9. Glenn
    I’ve been quietly following every day and two days before you had problems I thought you were sounding unsure…………….You are beyond an inspiration……….I’m 65…………love you man

  10. I have followed your journey daily and sense how crushed you must feel. a 37ft Tayana sloop rigged.Home port is Campbell River.
    Thoughts on your predicament. Do you have any crosbie clamps on board and a section of rigging cable you can sister around the fraying wire stay. If so you might consider easing off the stay a little sistering the stay using some zap straps to get things held in place and then tightening the crosbie clamps . and retensioning the stay. This will have some effect on sharing the tension and if the stay breaks you will have a back up. Hanging off a spreader to get this in place presents its own set of problems. If this helps in any way there you go. Best wishes

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