FROM 1-10. South Atlantic-Going up

Mar 30, 2005 - 1100hrs UTC │Clench-Inducing Sequences III

1100hrs 30 Mar 2005 UTC Map Ref 136

[ed: Laptop’s working again!]

I’ve been in some pretty bad storms but I think that was the worst bashing so far and quite clench inducing. Went down to about 990hp, so well out from the centre, up to 50kts very early – we took all sail off sometime yesterday afternoon – then up to steady 65 – 70 and I saw lots of 80 with one at 86. Waves moderate to start with, earlier this morning they were as big as off Cape Horn. covered in flying foam and spray moving at the speed of the wind. When we went outside in the middle of the night to try to retrieve liferaft, no way we could look to windward. Really dangerous in the cockpit and clearly stupid to try to retrieve raft in those conditions so decided to leaved attached to winch for as long as it lasted. Not long – I think it may have been cause of next knockdown but lost fairly quickly – v heavy, full of water, big stabiliser waterbags under, so forlorn hope really. Loose painter got tangled with turbine towline, so have that inside to be untangled. Engine started first go – little darling – so battery now charging. Seemed likely we might exceed sailmail time so sent satphone message via Mal and Sue at Sailmail fixed – thanks Sue.

Both pretty stuffed – need urgent Consultation with The Doctor – but ok and undamaged. Have not yet dared go out on deck – still blowing mostly 55 but occasional 35 – yay! – but from cockpit Berri looks ok too except for massively bent stanchion, bent inwards, so probably liferaft container (44 kilos) launched from cabin top and crashed back into stanchion before inflating. Someone please tell Danny at RFD Sydney that as far as we could see in the dark, light was on, everything attached but canopy had been torn off.

Sad and expensive loss – well the wrong side of insurance excess below 40S (Good one Richard – Someone there knows his/her maritime actuarials!) so now we have the rubber ducky and Berri – Think I’d prefer Berri.

Analytical update follows when i get my head together.

Brittany, if it’s clear tonight and not too dangerous to be in cockpit, we can play tonight but I no longer have flypast times – all ot a bit wet – so could you please liaise with Leroy and let me know when he might be up there? Satphone works and is on. Same drill (white para flare, then red spot) unless you change it. Thanks.

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