Day 98 Mild temperatures, steady progress 8/12/13

Dec 8, 2013 
Position: 33.53 S, 104.32 E
It feels different to be sailing in mild temperatures with the warm sun. Rain clouds are within sight but I missed a rain squall by about 500 yards so live in hope of filling the tanks soon.  I’m feeling a little isolated at the moment because the nearby Winlink station (in WA) is down which means a reduced amount of Winlink download time. Like everything else, I’ll get used to it and hope it comes back up soon. I hope I can keep making steady progress west with this wind. So far, so good.  At least the seas are manageable. Despite light winds over night I managed to log over 100 nm today.  

Note: In 2008, during Glenn’s first attempt at a solo non-stop circumnavigation, he “met” Susanne over the ham radio as she was sailing single handed (also in a 41′ Rhodes Reliant called So Long) east about across the Indian Ocean heading for Western Australia. They spoke often on the ham radio and kept in touch after Glenn arrived home in May 2008. Two years later, Susanne, an experienced and very accomplished single-handed sailor and her husband Tony (also a single hander) visited us in Victoria and we were thrilled to meet up with them in person on So Long while they were anchored in Cadboro Bay. Susanne recently sent us this lovely note. Glenn asked me to post it here.

Dear MaryLou and Dear Glenn
I followed your fantastic web-letters since the start in September and I want to send you my greetings and encouragement. It is great how you two manage to get this journey documented and hardly anyone will know how much heart-sorrow, sleepless nights or uptight feelings might be involved. I hope my lines make it to Glenn, now in the Indian Ocean and I hope I might give him some positive thoughts.

Hi Glenn
You will reach “our spot in the Indic” soon and now it is urgent to write to you. I will forever regret that our courses didn’t cross then, after we were all wound up in excitement about meeting one sister ship in the Southern Ocean. Is this really about six years ago? I had it all worked out then, how to let a floating package with my last vegetables and ‘the last bar’ of chocolate float over to ‘Kim Chow’…

My only poor apology is that Tony at this time was burning up with jealousy, sailing about 1000 miles in my wake, so I cancelled this historic meeting of our two lovely old ladies. Well, “Kim-Chow” and “So Song” will never meet again.

You two gave Tony and me a great welcome in Victoria on our way South in 2010 and I feel that we did not reciprocate sufficiently.

I know Glenn, now you have all your thoughts in the present. Maybe right now you are in a nerve-wracking calm with lousy old swells, maybe you are beating tough head winds or maybe a big Low is about to give you another beating? Can anybody imagine that a single-hander has a 24/7 watch, no matter what you feel like? Glenn, it is just fantastic how you find the energy and the motivation to write in so much detail about your daily happenings, in very nautical terms for poor land-lubbers and also in very touching emotional feelings.

But besides it all, for one minute forget about the schedules, the shit-wx, the cold, the eternal dampness, the repairs, the lack of sleep, the struggle to stay ship-shape, the huge distances yet to sail West or the loneliness. This is your time, this is the time of your life.

I am building this new Alu-boat with my own hands for just about one year now, and maybe for another to come. I try to make her as tough and strong as possible, but I wish I were at your Lat-Long, if not now, then maybe one day….

 If you still have ham connections to Barry and Alek in Australia, please give them my warm greetings. They might remember me and how they gave me a wonderful welcome in Bunbury.

I wish you all the very best. Take care.


Course 295 T Speed 4 knots Wind SE 10-15 Waves S 2-3 metres Cloud 100% Temp 17 C Baro 1026 Miles in last 24 hrs: 103 nm Volts 12.80


  1. Alan Campbell says

    Hi Glenn and Marylou One of the amazing things for me as an armchair sailor following your progress, Glenn, is looking more closely at places in Google Earth that I never saw before. Little islands and atolls that I would never have even known about appear on or close to your track. Then I zoom in and with the Panoramio photos that people have uploaded I get to see spellbinding sights. As you transit the Indian Ocean, do you go anywhere near the French Southern and Antarctic Lands? or Port aux Francais? I just looked at them and I am agog! Sail well and be well. We are saying prayers.

    • MaryLou Wakefield says

      Hi Alan
      Thanks for your note. At the moment he’s staying fairly far north in the Indian Ocean to take advantage of favourable winds and at the same time avoid some not so favourable winds further south. His route is completely weather dependent so it’s hard to predict with accuracy exactly which route he’ll take. Looking at Google Earth, though, it doesn’t appear he will be even close to the islands you mention. That said, he enjoys getting historical and natural history information about the area and islands he’s sailing through so if you have anything to share that you think he’d be interested in knowing, feel free to pass it along.
      Thanks kindly, MaryLou

  2. Doug Wells says

    Hello Again Mary Lou
    Just reading your latest post and the mention of Susanne off “So Long”. Great to hear of her and would appreciate passing on my regards. She may remember me under my old call sign VK6ZDR.
    Lost her email address sometime ago, with a hard drive failure, feel free to pass my email address to her.
    Has been good to hear Glenn in recent days he does sound in good spirits, and I wish him well in his endeavour. Have enjoyed receiving your email updates when I have not been available to listen on HF.

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