FROM 2-14. Cape Town-Kerguelens

‘orrible and hindifferent…

Steves x 2, thanks for msgs. Last time we saw Leopard was off Lands End on her way to Plymouth and line honours in the Fastnet. At that stage she was about 240 miles ahead of us and we had about 280 to go. Sigh!

Two weary old geezers out here. Blowing 35+ and big waves but nowhere near as savage as the last one. We are in deeper water for a start and the wind has been steady rather that blasting through in 50 knot squalls. Having said which, massive wave just hit and broke over starboard side. I think we both wish we did not still have nearly 6000 miles to go. It's been pretty relentless. Even the Cape Town stop was full on and no real break. Time for the old fart's dither – why is the floor moving? Sailing? Are we really sailing? – how interesting! – now where did I put my glasses and my cup of tea…

Almost as soon as I had written that paragraph – imaginary glasses and cup of tea dashed from my quivering old hand by – yep – a 50 knot rain squall. Had to leg it outside and roll in all but last couple of feet of headsail – I wish I could find the words to write about the power and the sheer bloody indifference of these conditions – predominant SW swell – big but not huge, great planes of grey breaking water, dull reflection of cloud covered moonlight, Berri, all seven tons or so of her, just tossed around as if she were weightless, water often knee deep across the decks and filling the cockpit. And the noise – wind roaring and howling in the rig, water crashing and thumping against the hull and with a sustained deep rasp like a truck tipping gravel, boring across the decks. And this is just a little one – hardly even a severe gale and no way a storm. The severity of it all is the Agulhas effect – cold wind against warm current shortening, steepening and hollowing the wind waves superimposed on the swell over a steeply shelving sea bottom. I really think I'd rather be somewhere else – anyone for Scylla? Can I tempt you to a little whirl with Charybdis perhaps? Roll up! Roll up!

I think I have written about this before – the anticipation, the waiting, the curdling knowledge that it really can happen to us after our 2 rolls, the rather corrosive anxiety that goes with it all gets worse the more you do, the more experience you have. Well, it does for me anyway.

We are thinking hard about Kerguelen. The decision will evolve, but it's still a bit too early to write it off – after all, we nearly got there last time.

Just had a near miss with a cargo ship. AIS saved the day – more tomoz.

Thanks for all your messages and imagingesIz. Keep em coming please.

One comment on “‘orrible and hindifferent…

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