Log from Sam Davies: Cape Horn conditions
Hello, I’m writing this from my bunk where I am wedged in whilst my freeze dried dinner is rehydrating.
The sea state has been gradually growing all day, and the wind has been building. To start with it was pretty good and we were doing nice speed across the waves. But eventually the wind built just a bit too much and we started to leap off the waves and nosedive into those in front.
The wind was at a steady 40 knots with gusts well above. This is the tricky moment because it is “survivable” at this level, but any windier and it starts to get a bit on the edge. And, the next step is to drop the main, but if it is too windy it starts to become hard to get the main down... so seamanship has to take over. As I am not racing, these decisions are easier to make and I err on the safer side. So I decided to drop the main before it got too windy. I was going to furl the storm jib for the manœuver, but it’s furling line has come out, and I will have to go on the bow to re-thread it, which is not really a safe option with this sea state right now.
Anyway, the main came down quite well behaved, and I lashed it to the boom. We are definitely in storm mode here!! I wish I had better tested my fourth reef setup as that would have been a better option, I am missing a little bit of sail area for now. Good lessons being learnt out here!! Still a few more hours of strong winds and big seas and 140 miles to Cape Horn. This passage will not be forgotten in a hurry!!
There will not be much time to relax as these strong conditions will continue at least to the Falklands - I have not escaped the clutches of the Southern Ocean yet!
These challenges are tough but I have chosen to be here. Despite the extreme situation I take the time to think about the kids that I am raising money for - this is nothing compared to what they have to endure every day to survive. Let’s hope this adventure can help as many kids as possible. I am here for them. And thank you for your support.
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