Now as Kilcullen takes the southern path through our 'current depression', having passed a reported iceberg further north, they say that life on the ocean wave is romantic.
Well going to bed in your long johns, top layers, huddled in one sleeping bag, inside another sleeping bag with a sleeping cap to boot - and one eye almost always on the compass and wind instruments - would swiftly shatter any romantic notions.
Let alone a Summer's Day here with SORA - The Southern Ocean Residents Association - I'm sure, as light is day, if this is their Summer - I would rather have two 'mothers-in-law' than spend winter here. Mind you, being absence and abstinence do make the heart grow fonder. And like the madman replied when asked why he was banging his head against the bed post "sure its great when you stop."
And that's how I sleep in the cold Southern Ocean from time to time. Always in an extra alert position to movement changes in the boat - different to the normal battering, clanging and pounding in the waves. Like a musical instrument, the musician instinctively, like the sailor, knows if there is something not quite right. Lovers are the same.
Day 38 was more of the same, a steady 20 to 22 knots, 120 degrees and due east in an overcast sky - clearly with trouble brewing with 40 knot winds expected shortly. As outlined we have elected to sail through the bottom of the depression while other boats have opted to go north.
Our risk here is that the wind would move more North and East meaning that we have little sea room to run before it and avoid the Ice Line. Of course, the advantage is that we would sail a shorter distance and gain ground on some of the boats ahead, on their northern route, taking the top end of the depression. Determined as we are not to mind the race, just to finish, it is tough to suppress those competitive juices.
As a contrast to storm watching, now that your SORA President (Elect) is totally removed from the so called 'land-of-the-living' for almost 40 days, we did a live TV interview, direct to Race Headquarters, alongside the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Her Excellency, Geraldine Byrne Nason, our highly regarded Irish Ambassador to France, was in the studio for the interview. Kindly facilitated by Commander Marcus, we talked directly and 'piosa beag as Gaeilge', Ireland's relationship with France, the maritime the passion and emotion for the Vendee linked with the ocean and adventure.
Sadly, I learned of the death of the Poet John Montague. Appropriately we finished our live Indian Ocean link, with the final stanza of his poem, 'Wild Water' - Born in Tyrone in 1929, JM was essentially Ireland's poet Laurate, he lived his final years in Paris and was buried in Dublin this week.
"luminous, bleached -
that light in the narrows
before a storm breaks"
President Elect( Self)
Southern Ocean Residents Association
Lat 48 08 South
Long 79 17 West