|Vessel Name:||L'Eau Commotion|
|Vessel Make/Model:||Northshore 38|
|Hailing Port:||Brisbane Australia|
4:30pm Wednesday 17th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) An hour or so ago it seemed about the right time to go over to a Port tack so all rugged up ( including jeans and socks ) we switched course. Not expecting to see much what with the cloud and a few showers about I scanned the Western horizon, checked, yes land and behind and to the left the definite shape of Isla Hornos. The breeze is expected to veer more to the North and weaken a little so we are now powering on almost on course into a still strong current. The sky is now almost 100% blue and the sun is doing what it does best.Last night was a different story. Reefed right down and with a stronger current round the 1000 metre depth and an uncomfortable chop we were going nowhere but at least here was no jarring or banging. Albatross and Mother Carys Chickens to spare, the latter thankfully off to find more exciting weather than the solid but comfortable breeze that should get us abeam the Horn in time for a photo early tomorrow.
4:30pm Tuesday 16th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) I had planned to be at Cape Horn in the middle of January but that came and went 4 1/2 hours ago and none of the usual signs of getting any closer are apparent. No day trippers out of Puerto Williams, no joy flighters out of Punta Arenas and no Frank. Mind you it is his day to look after the kids and the missus, whom he affectionately calls Lady Frankie, prefers to providder locally from organic outlets. She is not one of the wandering kind especially on a day like today with poor vis a slight drizzle an almost flat sea and little wind. Just ask the guys and gels out of Narromine or Temora and they'll tell you that's not the sort of weather to be caught in kilometres from a cosy bunk. I could have left Southport on the Sunday which would have got me there on schedule but Border Force don't do Sundays, or Saturdays for that matter ( they have families too ), of course Fridays are out and I was still shopping on Thursday. However I feel I can make up this day once I get out of this head current and into the North going Humboldt. As I was about to post this the breeze finally arrived and just to be on the cautious side I chucked in a couple of extra rolls on the jib with the expectation of 25 knots hard on the nose tonight. So far so good.
4:00pm Monday 15th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Actually 99.9 miles to a point 56 00'S and 67 12.7'W which is about 3 miles South of the lighthouse of Islas Hornos itself. Not that I have any intention of getting this close it's just that if I place a waypoint a fair way off there is always the temptation to cut it fine by going on the wrong side. At about the time Sir Frank ( not his real name ) would have arrived home to his long suffering missus the stiff Sou'Wester long predicted set in with a vengeance so the main was double reefed and just a glimpse of the jib left showing. Though only initially making one knot out of the area named " dangerous overfalls " it was good to be getting clear of that North going Current confirmed by several methods at over three knots. No wonder there were so many shipwrecks in days gone by - I was nearly one of them. Figuratively of course but in the dark night with abrupt wind changes it kept my on my toes, including my big one, which is healing nicely. This Southerly course continued u ntil a late breakfast when the wind veered more to the North West and more sail was set till now in the mid afternoon it is just a gentle breeze more from the North. If the wind takes me that way I may get a photo op of the Horn but if not I can always photo shop one from last time I was by this way.
2:00pm Sunday 14th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Why they call it Lake Drake you'll have to ask Kaye Clegg but my guess is because it's like a duck pond and here is one of the male inhabitants. Last seen he was swimming homewards towards Staten Island 18 miles away and I could imagine the chilly reception when he finally arrived back at the nest. The excuse that he had to swim against a 3 knot Current because there was no wind didn't wash . Why didn't you get a lift home with that Japanese fishing boat like the rest of my friends husbands. You mean the Chinese trawler Tai An? didn't smooth the ruffled feathers and then the question - did you bring home the squid like I asked - was answered with a sort of burp and the kids who'd been squabbling till then really knew what a great dad they had when presented with some lovely cuttle fish. Not as nutritious in Mum's eyes but the crunchy bits were beaut. Any now with the kids all settled for the night she enquired what really kept him. He explained he was just trying to cheer u p an old guy in a yacht that had been drifting aimlessly all morning. The other guys in surrounding nests all nodded - what with the Whitbread and the Vendee they'd all been there. --------------000708030101030206000208--
8:00pm Saturday 13th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) It wasn't all that rough around noon when I found I was making no headway trying to head South West through the Straits of Lemaire, it was just the sudden increase in the current to over 2 knots and the steeper seas brought on by the shelving bottom meant I would have been tacking back and forth with no prospect of gaining ground that afternoon and night. I don't think the current is associated with the tides as it was high water around 2pm but there was no evidence of a surge before noon. Comfortable as it is here there are too many islands and rocks to contemplate staying here the night so I will head East at a steady pace till I get to the Eastern end of Staten Island then - Bring It On! Thank you all for your kind thoughts on my birthday.
3:30pm Saturday 13th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) I decided to turn back to shelter under Staten Island as adverse current prevented any progress to the South. I'll keep this short as I have to keep an eye out for any submersible scenery which may not appear on my large scale charts. All systems are 100%.