Sunday 17 April 2022
I'm writing this on my laptop, so that a) I know where all the punctuation is and b) I don't feel that I'm hogging the ship's laptop.
It's a lovely sunny day today - gentle wind, which means we need engine assistance and the waves are still big(ish), but both less than yesterday.
I'll do a quick rundown of the crew, which I'll also post to the blog.
Skipper is Kenneth - leader of the 'Catalan mafia'who are running this ship. He's sailed every mile this boat has done and is hugely experienced and competent. What he says, goes. he is now fully recovered from the cold/flu he suffered from in the 1st couple of weeks.
1st Mate is Justino (or Justi, pronounced 'Hoosti'). Fewer grey hairs but still many seasons on IMOCAs and other large yachts. The king of rigging.
Oscar is the final Catalan. A late replacement for Paddy, he is normally the skipper of 'Kaap Hoorn' - the personal yacht of Nicholas Ibanez (owner of VoA). He was brought on board in case Ken failed to make the anticipated recovery.
There are 6 paying crew like me - with the exception of Kate, men of my age(ish) and mosytly with 3 kids!
Tim - Irishman from near Dublin. Owns a Contest in the Med and has plenty of sailing experience & sense. 3 children slightly older
Maurice - the late arrival. Also from Dublin. He's recently bought a catamaran with the intention of doing the ARC. I'm trying to convince him to carry on westward! Also 3 kids
Carlos - Intensive Care Specialist from Valencia via Ealing. An absolute bundle of energy all the time; full of enthusiasm and eagerness to learn. 3 sons slightly younger.
Chris. Single from London. He's found the 1st few days of ocean sailing hard work, and missed Cape Horn with seasickness. I share a cabin with Chris.
Kate. Younger Californian Has her own small yacht in San Franscisco. Very knowledgeable of the wildlife
In addition, we have the 3 Chileans.
Christian. Ex-Chilean navy in early 30s. He's here at Nicholas' invitation and to help with the young trainees. Passionate about navigation, he is punctillious in the accuracy and neatness of the logs and navigation plots.
Arturo. 18 year old Chilean trainee from Puerto Williams. Quiet
Anton. Precocious 15 year old who is like a young labrador wanting to be in everything. Always smiling, evern when seasick.
All in all, it's a cohesive crew that is gelling well and works without fuss or shouting, and everybody is very supportive of others. It's great pleasure to be on board.
We have 3 watches, so it's 3 hours on, 6 off. I'm on with Justi, Maurice and Carlos.
Yesterday, there was plenty of wind (30-35 knots) and big seas (up to 5 m waves). VoA cruised over everything with ease, but taking the sights for navigation was difficult as the horozon wouldn't stay still. I think we getting better at taking the sights and not making mistakes with the arithmatic. Our EP today at local noon (13:40UTC) was 50deg50'S 50deg 13' W. How are we doing?
We're heading more north than the great circle route to avoid a nasty low that's coming in a couple of days. The idea is to cruise along the area between the high to the north and the low to the south, giving decent wind and pleasant conditions. VoA needs a good 20knots from behind to get her moving.
i was due to cook again this evening, but Ken - who is normally excluded from the rota (as on all good yachts) is making a guest appearance. Perhaps I was so bad the 1st time, he doesn't want me on again?!
Yesterday, as we passed south of the Falklands, we were buzzed by a military transport aircraft. They flew over us at low level, turned round, flew over us again and went back from whence they came. We think it was a routine surveillance mission by the RAF from the Falklands, but don't know for sure. They weren't very communicative on the radio!
That's all for now, I'm going to act as sous chef for Ken!
No pictures now, but there should be some good ones on the Vinson of Antarctica Instagram account. Let me know!
This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using Global Telesat Communications's RemoteMail software.
Please be kind and keep your replies short.