FROM 2-14. Cape Town-Kerguelens

Not having fun

Or enter the Examiner, stage left. We got ourselves down into the top of the low at about 35 south – nice easy 30 knots from the west and tracked south east – but down here at 3650 02047 it's a bit different. 40 – 45 knots, big breaking waves and we have decided that Berri's furler arrangement can't cope with these conditions. The poles are a bit too long and the small jib is too badly stretched to set properly as a de facto storm jib so we are bare poled and easing our way north east again. We've just had a 50 knot whiteout rainsquall with a front and a couple of cockpit fillers. We have a backup outer forestay on to which we can hank a storm jib or a small staysail but we'll try that in more benign conditions first.

I think it all means that we will have to stay up around 35 S all the way across and just work the systems. Which rather puts paid to Kerguelen at 49 S. We will have a better idea when we get clear of the Agulhas effect with wind against current and shelving ocean bottom but it doesn't look hopeful. Gloooom.

Wind now down to 35 again but there's more to come. Poor Berri in rather violent motion still. All has a deja vu feel to it – last time we were here, but further south we got savagely bashed too.

TPS suits work well.

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