Now completing the passing of the Tasman Sea, separating Australia and New Zealand, the ocean is like two wild wolves. One roaring, vertical and cruel, the other calming and humble.
The ocean wolf you get depends on how you feed it, you will never console it and unlike a dog, responds to no master and remains wild. The advice to avoid a particularly angry wolf up ahead was to slow down to 5 knots that led to the unprecedented Christmas rendezvous south of Tasmania. We thankfully avoided the 70 knot winds and 10 metre seas that raged.
Now we are once again going east, averaging 16 knots. Down to around 25 knots of wind we still have some massive leftover swells. All going well we'll ride this system halfway to Cape Horn which is the equivalent of 1 and a half transatlantic legs from here.
Our passage will take us 400 miles South of New Zealand's South Island near Campbell and Macquarie Island. I'm not sure how these places got their names but I'm guessing I'm not the first Irishman to sail through this part of the world. Campbell Island was once a huge sheep farm. I gather it was too rough here, even for the sheep. And Macquarie Island was once a whaling Station. Other than a few researchers it is now uninhabited. Oddly enough Macquarie Island is Australian territory very close to New Zealand.
And to my friends in Macquarie Bank - to whom I owe a large chunk of money - your risk analysts may be monitoring this log to see if I will come home safe and sound to repay the loans. Well it's not safe. I mean the sailing is not safe, but the money is. Roger Courtney and team have it in safe hands on dry land. The skipper, and Southern Ocean Residents Association President, could disappear into the ocean yet the funds would still be in safe hands. Thankfully my business seems to run very well without me.
And that's the problem with an entrepreneur, business owner, skipper doing the Vendee. The reason here is that most of my success has been down to my ability to delegate and finding great people to partner with. Now I'm 52 days into the hardest task of all, there's no one to delegate to. I have never worked as hard in all my life. There is no choice. You are totally on your own.
Meanwhile in addition to all the usual maintenance and sailing the boat, the voyage rolls on in what seems an eternity. We're getting closer to solving our computer problems thanks to John Malone who kindly offered his services through Facebook and has now spent much of his Christmas break talking to yours truly.
Happy New Year,