Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The best of season's greetings to you

A really good Christmas is my wish for readers and visitors to Sailing to Purgatory's blog site.

Here's to a wonderful New Year, and a year ahead shaped and helped by good political action rather than poorly pondered-upon plans that can be easily daubed on the side of a bus, or fill our inboxes, but won't ever help the majority.

Here's to a wonderful year to you all, for us all.

Friday, December 21, 2018

The thrill of the Cape Horn challenge

 This blog cheered yesterday as determined Jeanne Socrates, 76, virtually zoomed past Cape Horn on her very brave rounding of the globe.
Then today, an email arrived from sailing enthusiast Maciej who says he has Loner (Hodder and
Stoughton), the book of my circumnavigation, and suggests I tell readers of the feeling I experienced as I rounded the Horn, of becoming a Cape Horner.
I borrowed Google’s great speech-to-text recognition program on the Chrome browser and read aloud a few sentences.
I had taken the traditional route to the Horn, from Plymouth down through the Atlantics, through the Roaring Forties into the Southern Ocean and then eastwards.

Turned over and a grounding

The chartered brave schooner, Spirit of Pentax, suffered from an overturning in the Southern Ocean, and a grounding in fog on Stewart Island.
The plan had been to circumnavigate non-stop, but I was obliged to get repairs at Perth, in Western Australia, and then Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island.
I returned to the Southern Ocean and raced through Christmas and my birthday towards the Horn. Loner takes up the voyage towards the end of the first week in January....

It had been blowing 30 knots but now it's over 40. A complete sail change is becoming quite a challenge to the stamina.
I thought I would recover with a cup of coffee but the cooker disagreed and a battle of determination followed. I think I didn't win. I had to turn the cooker off eventually; a skylight and a door had to be opened to get rid of the paraffin smoke.
They told me (on amateur radio) that the Whitbread round the world race is getting close to my position.


I have to reduce sails because the wind is now Force 9, but there is a gap between these very strong gusts and that inspires a fear that some of the Whitbread boats may come along and see us under-canvassed. ….
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Jeanne's done it! She passes Cape Horn

That courageous, never-say-die 76-year-old has done it, Jeanne Socrates and her yacht, Nereida, have passed notorious Cape Horn in her mission to be oldest woman to sail solo nonstop unassisted around the world , and the first woman to sail like that around the world from North America.
She writes, 'Cape Horn passed, at last! Now for Good Hope...
'Wednesday 12.30am: Cape Horn light seen flashing on the grey mound. That is Cape Horn on Isla Hornos - nine miles off to the North-east.
'Seas have got up a bit with increased wind. Appropriate, I feel!' Jeanne reports.

A bright moon

'Moon shining brightly between a few clouds. Still a lot of light in the western sky.
'Can't relax until well past the Cape,' she writes in her blog transmitted to her UK base.
'Thanks to so many of you who have sent good wishes for a safe passage past Cape Horn.'
Jean says, 'Now making for east of Staten Island and will then head west of the shallow Burdwood Bank - with big swells expected.

South of the Falklands

'I'm hoping not to get too much swell inshore of it. Then south of the Falklands, passed East Falkland, heading finally NE, aiming to get further from and on the North side of the many strong weather systems down here.
'We made 133 nautical miles over the last 24 hours.'
Jeanne reports that she has sailed almost 8,000 nautical miles since leaving Victoria, British Columbia. Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Brave Jeanne's almost at Cape Horn

Our courageous Brit yachtswoman, Jeanne Socrates, is hardly more than a day's hard sailing from notorious old Cape Horn and seems set within the next few hours to become the only lady mariner to pass it twice.
It's the 77-year-old singlehander's 76th day since she left the US Pacific Coast.
It certainly seems very likely her ambitions will be answered.
She aspires to be the oldest woman to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world, and the first woman to sail solo non-stop unassisted around the world from North America.

A Calm Personality

Her messages home yesterday reflect a calm personality coping remarkably well with daily life as she nears 60 degrees South.
'Wind is back up to 30 knots,' she writes. 'Glad the third reef is still in place!
'Finished chatting on radio and made a nice mug of hot soup.
'A big wave came along and half the soup went all over the stove top.
'I had half what I had looked forward to, plus the job of cleaning up the mess in these rough conditions...
Continues on the blogs for my ocean travel and adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory, at SailingToPurgatory.com