FROM 1-8. Horn to Falkland Islands

Mar 10, 2005 - 1315hrs UTC │Nocturnal Pneumatics

1315hrs 10 Mar 2005 UTC 55’49”S 072’30”W Map Ref 113

Daylight, sailing again, 7.5 knots directly towards the Horn. fingers, toes, ears, eyelashes and bootferals all firmly crossed. Pete has a long update, so I’ll jump – see yez. Nearest bit ofChile now about 60 miles away. Woo0ohooo.

Pete: Hello out there

I’m sitting tightly harnessed to the galley bench having a cup of tea its about 3am local time. We are sailing downwind under bare poles – we have had no sail up for about the last 15 hours. Yesterday we spent most of the night and morning under storm jib. Later with a drop in the wind and an easing of the rain squalls we decided to square away and head for the Horn. We set 2 storm jibs poled out as twin sails. Excellent, good speed with perfect direction.

Went below, settled down for about half an hour then a squall hit and we were sliding down the face of a wave very fast. Up on deck again, get rid of one storm jib and the boat was travelling ok again. Whilst tidying up the deck, putting poles away etc we were hit again by a squall. We both looked at eachother and in seconds the other storm jib was down and we have been under bare poles since.

With no sail we are safe but uncomfortable. No sail means no lateral stability so when we get hit by a wave, the boat rolls violently from side to side. If hit by another and the roll is in phase with this then the roll increases in amplitude, if the roll is out of phase then the boat and the wavy collide with a crash arresting the roll but hurling untethered bodies into the side of the boat.

This is getting a bit technical but i need to explain why I’m sitting here with a full cup of hot tea trying to keep the level of the tea in phase with the roll of the boat and hoping not to be hit by an out of phase wave which will immediately cover me in hot tea. If requested, I’ll include an appendix on simple harmonic motion.

A word about food. We have managed to have a hot evening meal together every evening since leaving Hobart. Some have been really good, others not so exciting. In passing, I’ve noticed that the after dinner conversation is rather dull since the red wine left the table.

Early in the trip variety was easy with all the fresh vegies etc from Hobart and Dunedin but since then it’s been dried and canned food except for alex’s vegie garden which produces fresh cress and mung beans. When in Dunedin, we restocked the boat. All canned food was lumped together then randomly separated into 5 large heavy plastic bags (Kathmandhu pack liners). When I say randomly I mean not to fill one bag with say various tins of canned fruit while missing essentials like braised steak and veg. Each of these bags was put in an under-bunk locker and the lid firmly screwed down. We have used 2 of these bags since Dunedin. Some of these tins have prduced some good results. The sauerkraut went really well with rice corn kernels onion and garlic with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. A can of beetroot went into aq rice salad later it produced a kiddies party type of dish, a very attractive bright fluro pink. I thought it very iffy but alex seemed to enjoy the final result.

Alex has made bread when conditions have allowed and it’s been great.

I’m now at the end of the second bag. Tins that were’nt used in ther first are still with us, such as sardines in rich tomato sauce, sliced cling peaches in syrup, creamed corn, spinach etc. Perhaps sardines a la peche it sauerkraut.

Some tins should be avoided though. On a recent morning I woke and noticed my sleeping bag had assumed thge form of a scale model Hindenberg. Not thinking, i unzipped the seal around my neck. I was immediately assaulted by a gale force blast of the nocturnal pneumatics. Fortunately the early morning air was very cold and instantly condensed this vile volatile vapour (alliteration?). I escaped with only severe stinging of the eyes. Bugger. I must remember never to add a can of chilli beans to the pasta sauce ever again.


It’s now about 8 am local – we have set the #4 and the main with 1 reef. A little overpowered at the moment as we reach for thew Horn at about 7.5 kts. with less that 180 to go so if this keeps up we will be there tomorrow morning. The wind, though,is expected to drop.

To all those mates out there sending us news and encouragement, many thanks and keep up the flow. Too hard to list you all but we’re glad you’re there. Brian and Jen, Bert and Sandra and Kevin from Dunedin, are you still with  us?

To Bob and Eugenie, I’ll ave a large drink to your health as we pass the Horn. Noel, good luck with the new hip -you must feel like the Tin Man now. To Steve, many thanks for all your work and G9d speed along the “Six Foot Track tomorrow.

Cheers for now Pete.

Comments are closed.