The doldrums at the equator are known for wide swaths of calm and raging rain squalls that can spin the wind around the clock and have you chasing your tail like a confused dog. I'm still along way from the actual doldrums but I feel like I'm getting a good warm up. First I had the calms and now the squalls. Since sun down yesterday I have been sailing upwind against a constant deluge of isolated black storm clouds and their associated rains and wind shifts. I haven't slept m
The sun rose in front of me again today, reminding me of the mornings in the south where my constant pursuit of the east had me chasing the dawn for weeks. Why am I again faced with the gentle pinks and blues of the new day when I should be trucking northwards? Well, I'm investing in my freedom. Like any banker, speculator or private citizen I am always trying to increase the value of my position and maximise the return on investment. Instead of dollars, or government bonds
THE question Last Thursday, Armel Le Cléac’h took first place in the 8th edition of the Vendée Globe and British sailor Alex Thomson taking 2nd place after an epic battle. Now that the 2 first boats have arrived, the question we hear the most is « When do you think Conrad will hit the dock/ ? ».And that is the one question that drives the Kiwi skipper a bit crazy. With more than 4 500 miles to go and weather files that change rapidly, it is impossible to have a accurate estim
The temperature is certainly changing as I head northwards, not so surprisingly becoming hot and steamy as I approach the Brazilian coast in summer time. There was about 24 hours when I was comfortable in base layers and shorts but now the meter set to full boil and I'm melting. The Vendee globe is unique in many respects, but this wild swings in temperature are certainly part of the charm. The Iditarod husky sleigh race in Alaska or the Death Valley ultra marathon both deal
Thank you for your warm wishes and hearty breaths. It appears to have done the trick as I am making decent progress given the conditions and am currently 60 miles ahead of my where my routing suggested I would be. Yesterday's frustration appears in retrospect to have been rather mellow dramatic but I feared that I would be imprisoned forever in a shaking and shivering, brain rattling "calm"!
Last night put it all into perspective as I glided over a now calm sea under a clea
I'm stuck! Just as yesterday I enjoyed an unexpected good run with ideal conditions to make miles northwards, now the weather files have turned against me and I have a lot less wind than expected. I had agonized for days about whether finding a way east early (but that put in even more squarely in the path of over 40 knots of wind, to be avoided) or make gains northwards with an escape route to the east later.
Sadly it looks like I am going to struggle for a few days here w
I have been pretty busy these last couple of days dealing with problems in my little corner of the world and now as I take up the keyboard again it's hard to know where to start.
Firstly, congratulations to Armel and Alex for an incredible race. They have been pushing and trying to out fox each other in a personal grudge match since they made a break for it South Atlantic on the way down. Two of the fastest boats in the fleet helmed by two of the most experienced skippers (
Cape Horn! After 66 days, 16 hours and 14 minutes of racing, Foresight Natural Energy passed Cape Horn. Having already been around the world twice, it was not an entirely new experience for Conrad however this was the first time solo. After a tough Pacific crossing, it was a great relief « After my misadventures in the Southern Ocean I'm disappointed I can't push as hard and be as competitive as I would like but but it puts things in perspective. I was a hair's breadth away
Entering the "Roaring Forties", the band of latitude between 40 and 50 degrees south, is always a great moment. When going down the south atlantic it means the beginning of the south, the long swells, the grey days and the start of the strong winds that roar, hence the name. Entering this band going back up again means an escape from all that and the promise of calmer days and the opportunity to untangle the nerves that were wound tight by weeks of stress.
Even now at 48 de
Northwards! After rounding Isla de los Estados, the South American Sicily off the tip of the peninsula, I finally turned left for real and headed due north under my Code 0 foresail. A beautiful day that had me searching for my sunglasses after weeks of grey. I really enjoyed sailing quietly on a perfectly flat sea in the lee of the islands, a welcome change after the constant surfing and banging and crashing.
The tranquility didn't last long however as dark clouds rolled i