Third time around and solo! It feels amazing to be finally around the last major landmark on the course and now focus on getting as much north into my route as possible instead of the constant run to the east and defines the marathon in the south.
In such a lonely point on the planet it was strange to be standing on deck and then see the dark shape of a huge trimaran emerge from the mists. It was Idec Sport, a massive 100 foot trimaran that left France on December 16th 2016
George Orwell's dystopian sci-fi novel, 1984, was famous for many things. Flying helicopter cars, centralized authoritarian governments and projections about excessive drug use. He also coined the term "doublethink", the concept that you can hold two contradictory ideas in your head at the same time and believe them both to be true. I'm feeling a little doublethink coming on at the moment.
One the one hand I cannot wait to pass Cape Horn for the third time and head northwar
Epic start to 2017 After celebrating Christmas, things spiced up for the New Year. 2017 was looking great: Conrad was catching up with Nandor Fa when a mainsail batten came out of its box forcing him to reduce speed and repair it. When fixing anything on the mainsail, it is important to slow the boat down and to drop the sail to be able to work on it. This resulted in Conrad being unable to escape North to avoid a low pressure system (storm) building under the ice limit. We h
Ok, it's seriously COLD down here now. I have 1100 miles to go until the Horn but at 54 degrees south I am only a thousand miles from Antartica and with the southerly winds blowing it feels like I'm skimming the sea ice as I go by. I'll soon be even closer as rounding Cape Horn forces me to pass through the narrow Drake Passage, the 450 mile wide straight that separates the tip of the Andes from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
One downside to my 100% Natural Energy camp
It feels wonderful to be heading eastwards again, with mast pointing upwards, sails in the middle pulling me forwards and the keel in its correct place under the water! It's much more relaxing than being dragged sideways across the tops of the foaming crests with the keel pointing skywards instead of the mast!
Before leaving the topic of one of the worst days of my life, I would like to talk about Jules Verne. I am a huge fan of his books and indeed the racing number of thi
January 1st, Conrad contacted his technical team to say that the primary structural forestay had disconnected at the bottom, taking the sail with it with 50-60knots at the time it happened. This forestay is very important to keep the mast up and the axis keeping it attached is gone for an unknown reason. The sail had not unfurled when that happened but with the gusts, it quickly did and the boat was pinned on its side in a gust. Foresight Natural Energy spent a few long hour
Hi everyone Just a small note to say Happy New Year! Whether you're watching the silver ball fall in Times Square or watching the sun come up on a beach on the east coast of NZ, or indeed anywhere in between, I hope that 2017 is the year that you're able to achieve your goals, set new scarier ones and have a great time along the way. The start of this edition of the Vendee Globe meant that 2016 was a red letter year, a goal that I aimed at for a long long time and now as I sl
After writing previously that my strategy with the big depression had worked out as planned, that I had stepped in front of a bus but managed to run away without being hit, I received one final reminder that mother nature plays by her own rules. The barometer was rising, the wind was steady and matched the forecast and I had set the boat up with a more than conservative sail plan for the conditions. Running in 25-30 knots of wind with nice surfs on the swells with two reefs i
Well, I certainly know that the cold front has passed over! It's freezing down here at 52 degrees south in a cold air mass, without a heater or an engine. If I had an engine to charge my batteries like the other boats I would start it up and cuddle with it, calling it pet names, shower it with kisses!
How I actually keep warm is less exciting. Lots of excellent thermal layers from Gill, chemical hot patches that I stick to my thermals and lots and lots of tea and soup! Stil
It's Christmas season and I'm sure you are all rushing around and sometimes lose track of which way is up. Sadly my boat has the same problem as it keeps falling over! Conditions are pretty reasonable with wind varying between 25 and 30, with gusts a little more, on a broad reach with one reef and the small J1 reaching sail. However, one gust came in and the rudders lost grip and the boat spun around with the bow to the wind, the sails flapping wildly. I was inside and was pu