FROM 1-20. Belmore and Pete swims

Sep 16, 2005 - 00hrs UTC│Pete's Swim

00hrs 16 Sep 2005 UTC 05’41”N 022’51”W Ref 366

From Grahame McL

I’ve just read the article in Yachting Monthly here in UK and now gone on to your site. I think what you’re doing is sensational and I wish I was doing one of the legs with you both. I’m a composer and conductor and also run a music publishing company. My main hobby was flying for the past 25 years or so but I did my yachting exams at night school a few years ago just to keep learning something new. Last year my partner Lyn (Kiwi) and I bought a 36′ Legend at the boat show, enlisted the help of Tom Wilkinson, a well known RYA Examiner in UK and did the day skipper course. Neither of us had sailed before and it looked daunting. On the morning Tom arrived it was blowing a hooley and he asked if we still wanted to do it, of course we did and 5 days later, after going through hail, rain, thunder, heaving to off Felixstowe because we lost the engine and had a jam with the Jib we were handed our bit of paper and went straight back out. We sailed all through last winter, loved it, no one around and made masses of mistakes but learned as we went on. Our passages are now as far as Ramsgate which is pathetic compared to you two but we don’t take crew and work as a team. Next year we’ll get across the channel and I’d like to think keep heading south for ever.

We’re both now dreaming of the time when we can hopefully sell our companies and follow your path, (Lyn is a film producer with all the stresses that that brings).

Thank you both for the inspiration, you’re doing what lot’s of us want to do and I just can’t imagine, after sailing for the past year, how you get all the skills you both must have to do the passages that you’ve done, I’m full of admiration for you.

If you’re able to get onto web sites and like music go on to – this division of the company sells relaxation music, if there are any titles that take your fancy let me know your next port of call and I’ll send, they may just calm the passage to Hobart a little next time.

Grahame Mac thanks for your note of some days ago – you have clearly worked out that you have to make these things happen. Best of luck with the channel crossing and please feel free if there’s anything we can do to help as you and Lyn move on to bigger things. Thanks to for offer of music – we can’t get the internet and don’t intend to stop anyway so won’t be able to take you up.

We’ve had a wearying few days but we seem to be south of the nasties and pointing more or less at the hump of Brazil instead of the Amazon. We hope that we will be lifted around to head for Trinidade as we move south.

Our difficulties were capped by some unintended man overboard practice yesterday. We’d just finished one of the many headsail changes and put in a reef. Pete went up to weather of the boom to put in the knitting along the foot – something we’ve done a hundred times – I went down to get my jacket because it had started to rain quite hard and as I got inside, the boat gybed violently. I jumped back up, looked forward, no Pete, looked aft and saw him in the water swimming for the turbine line. I let go both sheets and brought the boat into wind and we were almost stopped by the time Pete had grabbed the line and turned on his back. The boat parked beam on with the sails feathered – essentially hove to – and I pulled him in on the line. At which point it became clear just how hard it is to get someone heavy, wet and slippery back into a tossing heaving boat. We managed – Pete has a big graze on his shin but otherwise undamaged and we’re both much wiser and less complacent. I will write this up more fully with all the do’s, dont’s and the mistakes that caused it – an edifying experience and one that should not be wasted.

Some info for Brian and Jen and anyone else who might follow us – If you have it, SatCom C is fantastic as a free text weather forecast source and a great complement to grib files but you must get hold of charts of all the worlds forecast areas (I have asked Simon to include a database on future versions of SoB but that may be some time off). Reeds Almanac gives the european and north african ones but SatCom (using our GPS position as a guide)has now switched us to the Brazilian Navy forecasts for the South Atlantic and I don’t have the areas (Alpha, bravo etc) so can’t use it. Aggravating. I didn’t know to look before we left but now all y’all do – so do! SatC is also a good backup for sailmail, as we discovered on the way north – but expensive.

And Jen, I was just checking to make sure you know what you’re talking about :-) and I find all that stuff fascinating too. Having most of one eye u/s is all about depth and compensation.

Hi CaroI

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