FROM 1-8. Horn to Falkland Islands

Mar 09, 2005 - 0815hrs UTC

0815hrs 09 Mar 2005 UTC 55’26”S 075’59”W Map Ref 109

I think it is easing and abating. The wind has backed as expected, although to the SW instead of W and is now steady at about 40 kt. No more gusts of 60-70 thankfully. I am doing my midnight to three UTC penance and I’ve just been outside to gybe the boat back towards the Horn after waiting to be sure the wind change is fully established. You are probably all a bit full of descriptions of the difficulties of transition from troglodyte to water nymph (me?) but at the risk once again of being tedious, the jibe took maybe two minutes plus a bit of acclimatisation beforehand and some checking and monitoring and tweaking afterwards. Getting into full party gearbeanie, headlight,neck warmer, sock liners, waterproof sox, WWG pants(still dripping wet from last time), WWG jacket (ditto, and clammy wet inside too – yerk), harness, tether, inner and outer gloves – takes about 15 minutes of severe physical exertion as Berri cavorts around. Then another 15 minutes on return. No wonder the tendency is to procrastinate. But well worth the doing – Berri now heading direct for the Horn again and ETE’s on the GPS.

And we’ve just been hit by another 60 kt gust followed by 10 kt surge off a wave. Poo. Glad I’m back inside. Back to constant 50 – 65 knots. All happened very quickly. Pete still sleeping the sleep of the innocent.

Memorable meals – in the midst of the earlier fuss, Pete mixed a couple of cans of meat and vegies with left over pasta from yesterday and heated it all up and dogbowled it and it was hot and lumpy and better than almost anything else I could have asked for. At times like these…

Back up to 70 again…really glad I gybed when I did. Might not be possible right now.

About 4 hours later – Pete gave me an extra hour – nice – and the barometer has risen from 989 to 994. Encouraging, but wind still peaking around 50. Seems fairly gentle! 300 miles to the Horn and the nearest bit of Chile is only 115 miles away – an island at 54 30 27 S 073 05 59 W. VMG hovering around 4 knots – slow but steady and safe. Daylight in about 3 hours and we can decide whether more sail is possible.

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