Day 120 Shades of Grey 30/12/13

Dec 30, 2013Position:  34.56 S,  89.27 E

It’s a morning of shades of grey, a light grey cotton batten quilt of cloud reaches over us to the edge of our watery bed of darker grey ocean. It’s a steady scene, waves marching beside us breaking as if we were not there, detached. We’re going with them toward the same horizon. Off our bow where the sun rises there are radiant streaks of light as though from a welders torch burning through the grey metal cotton batten and penetrating the grey ocean. It brings a smile to my face and warms me, there is hope for a sunny day ahead.

I awoke this morning before I opened my eyes, I knew I had slept beyond my inner alarm clock and it felt good. I tried to prolong the warm slumber but my motor was already revving. I struggled with it but it only lasted a few minutes and I was up. I staggered to get my balance grabbing rails either side of the main salon put there especially for moments like that. Once I had gained my sea legs I made my way to the nav station to check our course, 142 degrees. That certainly wasn’t going to take us to safety. So started the ritual of changing course. After fifteen minutes, I left the cockpit to let the new course adjustments settle in with WW II. It often took a couple of tries to get it right. I came back down the companion way and stood gazing out astern at the grey world. My mood was not quite the same colour, but definitely needed a boost that a cup of earl grey tea would bring. There’s the grey again, it surrounds me. The log on the GPS reads 1342, dropped down by 1 from before I went on deck. We were moving well, 5.5 knots. There would have been a time a few days ago that that would not have been enough given the wind speed, but it is different now. I am holding back always with the thought of the compromised rigging in mind. It is not a race but a careful calculated mind set that is always weighing up the forces at play and how far can I go but still keep the rig in and get safely back to shore. 
1350 nm to go! 

There are several weeks of this to go and I feel it. Lots of mixed emotions pour over me throughout the day bringing many questions. I am still lucky that I found the problem the way I did. There is lots to be thankful for. Most of all is the amazing support of MaryLou and the heartfelt comments of her blog. To all those people, I wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for being there for MaryLou and me.

Heading: 90 T Boat Speed: 7 knots Wind: W 2 knots Swell: W 4 m Cloud Cover: 70% Temp: 20 C Baro: 1017 Miles in last 24hrs: 120 nm
Volts : 13.4 v


  1. Maurice n Michiko says

    Not one in one thousand could have achieved what you have done Glenn. Be content that there are many sailing with you in spirit and wherever your landfall is next we wait to hear of your latest adventures.
    “They that go down to the sea in ships; that do business in great waters.
    These are the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.”

  2. Linda and Richard ( RVYC) says

    Glenn, We’ve just read of your return trip to Australia. We can only imagine your disappointment! We are just so relieved that you agreed to return for repairs. What you are doing is very inspirational, today just as much as a few days ago to so many sailors and you should feel immense pride in your courage and accomplishments.

    We wish you a happy new year and a safe return with the wind at your back. We look forward to seeing you whenever you decide to sail home and which ever direction you come!
    Love from the Blenkinsops.

    “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” MLK

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thanks for your very kind words Linda and Richard. I’ll make sure Glenn gets them. All the best for 2014.

  3. Taylor Echlin says

    We’ll be thinking of you every day until you reach Australia. Be safe on your good ship WW II. Happy New Year. Taylor

  4. LOrneThirlwell says

    Hi Glenn
    Can’t believe that you can even get communication where you are!Happy New Year and I’m thankful that you are coming back to shore!I’ve been rescued by my friends volunteers at the Oak Bay Dept. off Trial in my Kayak.So when you get back to Victoria I will buy you a drink @ The Bengal in The Empress and share my story and listen with awe @ yours!
    Sail cautiously

  5. It’s not the destination but the journey. What an amazing sailor you are. Your trip has been an inspiration to me, too scared to do anything like that. Happy new year to you and your family.

  6. Trevor Hurst says

    Hi Glenn,

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Also I wanted to say that I think you have made the right decision considering your rigging. A lesser man would have pursued in ignorance and put himself and his future at risk in the process. But your wisdom prevailed and caught an issue before it was too late, then you had the courage to make the right decision. A feat not many of us could have endured.

    Also I think your conservative mindset in not pushing your rig too hard will pay off once you hit shore. Just remember a bit of lost performance now is actually an investment in your safety. Over the course of the next 1300 or so nautical miles that will only cost you a few days. A small price to pay for your safe return to land so you can make the proper repairs.

    Also I wanted to tell you, that despite your decision to turn back, in my mind you have already achieved great success. I sense your purpose was to change people’s lives by giving them the inspiration they need to pursue new heights, a man circumnavigating the globe solo was only the medium. From what I can tell, from others posts, you have captured the hearts and minds of hundreds watching your journey and that is true success. For myself, the last few months has inspired me to think differently about life and that your efforts have changed my views in a positive enduring way. I am confident in saying that for you to get thus far means you have succeeded where countless others have failed. I can only dream to accomplish as much as you have already, and that these great accomplishments have nothing to do with reaching half way around the globe on a solo sail.

    Keep sailing, watch that rig, and know that we are all rooting for your safe landing.


    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Hi Trevor I’ve sent your message on to Glenn and I know he will appreciate getting it very much. Thank you for your very kind words.
      All the best for 2014. ML

  7. Kathleen Ward says

    Hi Glenn:
    We Wards are cheering for you. Although you had to turn around, your adventure is far from over and all of us reading your daily blog are wishing you well and hoping for quick repairs so you can get on with the next part of your plan. A few weeks ago, one of your Australian ham operators wrote in your blog about your friendship and that he would give anything to meet you. I imagine that you might just make that dream come true! Now that would be worth turning around for! I cant imagine how seasick I would be in the 5 meter rolling waves you describe. How you manage to persevere through all your challenges is truly inspiring. Wishing you and ML a happy new year and a safe voyage home!
    Kath and Jeff

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Thanks you two. Interesting how things work out and often so differently from what you planned or imagined. He’s really looking forward to finally meeting Alek. All the best for 2014. ML

  8. Susan Bassett says

    Happy New year, Glenn and Marylou Even thou it is not yet here, I will be thinking of you both tomorrow night and hoping for the day when you both will have a happy reunion! It is very grey here in western Washington. Reminds me of the Coast guard Ch. 16 in Alaska, a long time ago, reporting “the fog, the fog, the fog”. Glad I do not have to be standing watch and sounding the horn.. Am with you in spirit!

  9. Keith Morrison. says

    Happy New Year Glenn.
    I love your vivid descriptions of sea and sky!A wise move to solve your rigging issues.
    Take care of yourself and WW11!!

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