Day 78 Rounding South East Cape, Tasmania 18/11/13


Nov 18, 2013 TasmaniaPosition: 45.44 S, 145.15 E

It’s 6 am and I’ve just come back from replacing another plastic vane on the wind vane. It’s blowing 30+ knots from the North. The seascape and low grey cloud cover are monolithic. I didn’t spend much time on deck, just enough to put on a new vane, pump the bilge, and give the rigging a quick inspection. It started to blow around 10 pm last night and then at around 1 am, the wind increased to 35 knots with heavier gusts. The sudden motion woke me and I tried to get on deck as quickly and calmly as I could to shorten sail and relieve West Wind of the tremendous pressure she was under. 

My approach is head down, focus on the job in front of me, and try to not notice the intimidating sea and screaming wind tearing at my rain gear. After a routine set of tasks we were back under control and all was well. 

The noise can be very unnerving. All this critical sail changing and taking in and let out of lines in the middle of last night was done under the watchful eye of a very bright full moon, blinking on and off as storm clouds passed in front of it and were chased by the North wind. 

Our GPS position indicates we are now passed South East Cape of Tasmania. Two down. Three to go!

Note: There are five  Great Capes – South West Cape on Stewart Island, NZ, South East Cape of Tasmania, Cape Leeuwin, Australia, Cape of Good Hope (Cape Agulhas) Africa, and Cape Horn, Chile.


In his book The Long Way, Bernard Moitessier tries to express the significance to a sailor of the Great Capes:

“A sailor’s geography is not always that of the cartographer, for whom a cape is a cape, with a latitude and longitude. For the sailor, a great cape is both a very simple and an extremely complicated whole of rocks, currents, breaking seas and huge waves, fair winds and gales, joys and fears, fatigue, dreams, painful hands, empty stomachs, wonderful moments, and suffering at times.
A great cape, for us, can’t be expressed in longitude and latitude alone. A great cape has a soul, with very soft, very violent shadows and colours. A soul as smooth as a child’s, as hard as a criminal’s. And that is why we go.”

Course 250 T Speed 2.5 knots Wind N 30 knots Waves N 2-3 metres Cloud 100% Temp 10 C Baro 1000



    Glenn you’re a hero and a triple AAA sportsman. I’m a kayaker who only rounds the rugged shores of Trial Island. I paddle out of Gonzales Bay which I bet you know how foul that can be!!! I enjoy your blogs, keep the power up and enjoy the ride! I am a waiter @The Empress Hotel-Bengal Lounge and I will be honored to buy you a drink when you get back home!Look forward to that!!
    Best of Seas LORNE

  2. Sally and Geoff Dolman says

    Hi Glenn,
    Can’t believe you are just “down the road”. One of these days you should visit Tasmania, it is awesome. We have sent you our phone number and hope we get to speak with you. Take care. Sal and Geoff

  3. Sounds like Tassie gave you a welcome back blow mate! She’s a windy place alright. I’m hoping the blade replacement means you’re still getting some juice from the wind generator? Yesterday it sounded like she was a gonna. PB

  4. I have always wondered why you choose to go west about when the prevailing winds and currents in the southern oceans generally run east about.

  5. Doug Turner says

    Congratulations Glen on successfully passing the S.E. Cape. I, like so many others, look forward to your blogs and following your daily progression around the globe.

    It’s somehow reassuring knowing that although you are pretty much at the furthest possible point from home, we can still share in looking at the same object – the moon here too, was full and fleeting. May it guide you safely home.

  6. marianne scott says

    Hello Glen,

    Way to go! I presume there’s no traffic at all where you are sailing. Do you have AIS so you could identify any ships even at great distances?
    I know you must sleep and I wondered if you’re at all concerned about collisions?

  7. Jack Sherman says

    Congratulations Glen on rounding the second Cape. I’ve been following your voyage since day 17. I met you working on WestWind2 at the boatyard in Canoe Cove last summer with Rob deGros, just before she went in the water. It has been great to follow you here in Lethbridge as the snow starts our winter. You are awesome and I applaud you. Good luck on the rest of your journey, I’ll be following along .
    Jack Sherman

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