WE were faced with a difficult choice. One was to go north over the top of a vicious looking low pressure system. Or south around the bottom. Either way it would be a slog since the wind was predominantly East and North East - our general direction of travel. Meanwhile Cape Horn is ever so slowly getting closer and there is harmony between the three Residents Association groups who have merged
Time will tell. It looks as if the southerly option taken will work since the low has moved faster and deeper than expected.Also being slower in the headwinds, allows it to run before us. Going south its also colder. My fingers freeze a little while punching out this log - which I do not feel like doing - but it's a regular discipline - as with running our ship. Again punters say this is madness - so be it - but its desperately disciplined and you need to be desperately sane to express ones madness.
Now starting our 3rd week at sea, I am never away from the 'edge'. Day after day, 24/7, - or even 35/8 - there is constant movement and risk. There is always work to be done on these incredibly sophisticated boats refined for one man to operate. Its most definitely a love / hate relationship. Its massively isolated, alone, but not lonely.
Progress has not been good. I found the boom had disconnected from the mast in a routine check. The swivel stainless fitting had unwound. It was two hours before dark and despite dropping the mainsail, darkness won in my struggle to get it fixed and the boom back in position. I was exhausted and went to bed - if you can call it that - crouched on the navigators seat.
And its amazing what rest and a new dawn brought. A new approach, unbolt the mast fitting, reconnect the stainless fitting - fortunately the screw thread was only damaged a little. Then a series of four sets of block and tackle gradually leveraging the boom goose neck into the right position and "hey bingo". Problem solved.
After that there was no wind for almost 24 hours. It was dark, the sails clattered and we rolled in the swell. Then, within 5 minutes it went suddenly to 35 knots - gale force - making it a struggle to get the boat under control without damage. This was accomplished, not without shock to my system, again on the edge - and we back in business and away.
All of the above I might add, was reported for consultation with the Executive of the Southern Ocean Residents Associations (SORA). Namely Adolf the Monkey, Paddy the Leprechaun and the Kiwi Spirited teddy Bear whose views and opinions were confusing.
It has been a lifetimes work for me bringing ideas, community projects, companies and people together. I am proud to have been able the manage (not always successfully !!!) the different personalities of the different groupings, beliefs, expectations and socio-economic backgrounds. Happily now all is running smoothly that the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South Pacific Residents Associations and have merged to one - SORA.
From here Cap Horn beckons. And as with the Atlantic meting the Indian around the Cape of Good Hope (renamed by a PR exercise - originally Cape of Storms) and then the transition to the Pacific south of New Zealand, change brings turbulence. So lets see what the next two weeks will bring - hopefully safely into home Atlantic waters but at least e have SORA together.
We're together again
We're here, We're here And Never
In the history of human endeavour
Has so much not been done
And a lot more to do