L'Eau Commotion Westabout

An (other) attempt to sail non stop Westabout around the world

Vessel Name: L'Eau Commotion
Vessel Make/Model: Northshore 38
Hailing Port: Brisbane Australia
Crew: Bill Hatfield
15 January 2018 | 99 Miles to Cape Horn
14 January 2018 | 150 Miles to Cape Horn
13 January 2018 | Staten Island, near Isla Observatorio
13 January 2018 | 120 Miles to ( or from ) Cape Horn
12 January 2018 | 180 Miles to Cape Horn
11 January 2018 | 270 Miles to Cape Horn
11 January 2018 | 275 Miles to Cape Horn
10 January 2018 | 360 Miles to Cape Horn
09 January 2018 | No Closer to Cape Horn
09 January 2018 | 420 Miles to Cape Horn
09 January 2018 | 425 Miles to Cape Horn
08 January 2018 | 485 Miles to Cape Horn
07 January 2018 | 610 Miles to Cape Horn
07 January 2018 | 625 Miles to Cape Horn
06 January 2018 | 660 Miles to Cape Horn
05 January 2018 | 745 Miles to Cape Horn
05 January 2018 | 790 Miles to Cape Horn
04 January 2018 | 850 Miles to Cape Horn
03 January 2018 | 955 Miles to Cape Horn
03 January 2018 | 965 Miles to Cape Horn
Recent Blog Posts
15 January 2018 | 99 Miles to Cape Horn

Nervous Nineties

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.

14 January 2018 | 150 Miles to Cape Horn

Lake Drake

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--

13 January 2018 | Staten Island, near Isla Observatorio

Holed Up

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.

13 January 2018 | 120 Miles to ( or from ) Cape Horn

All OK

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%.

12 January 2018 | 180 Miles to Cape Horn

Rough 'n Tumble

4:30 pm Friday 12th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Without going into laborious details of each sail change the thing of note over the last 24 hours is the rapid change in strength and direction of the wind, and the two are not always occurring at the same time. This of course is associated with lumpy sea at times and to my annoyance I again stubbed that toe. The subsequent flow was soon staunched with the use of the Universal First Aid Kit which also helped to clean up the mess. The pleasing takeaway from last night was that by fully furling the jib and with the double reefed main well free good time was being made to windward in 30+ knots. This knowledge could come in useful when presented with a lee shore on the slog from the Horn to and past the Western entrance to the Straits of Magellan. Right now the sun is shining etc,&etc.

11 January 2018 | 270 Miles to Cape Horn

Katherine Ann

4:00pm Thursday 11th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) It's always great to hear the g'ding! of the Iridium to signal an incoming message and so it was today to hear from Jason. Just to bring those people up to speed who are unfamiliar with my previous attempt in Katherine Ann, a 33ft sloop designed by Joe Adams. I had completed about two thirds of the trip when I got knocked down a few times about 400 miles South West of my present position or a hundred odd miles South West of Cape Horn. The rigging was damaged and a few other things which made it impossible to continue across the Pacific so I turned round and headed for the Falklands which took about a week to reach Stanley. As I have previously mentioned I was well looked after by Bob and Janet McLeod and I mentioned to him that I would probably strip Katherine Ann of the few functioning bits and send them back to Oz. Bob said hold on a bit and introduced me to Jason as a buyer - we had already met. I described as best I could what was and what was not, a price agreed and han ds shook. It took all of ten minutes so it was most pleasing that Jason has got her back up and running and just a shame we didn't meet again on the high seas. A pleasant and productive sail was had last night and though progress was very slow today we always seemed to keep moving. Frequent tweaks were required but it was a pleasure to be out in the cockpit in the bright warm sunshine and even now at 4:00pm it is 20C in the cabin. The promised North Westerly is establishing itself as I write and as it is expected to be quite strong I will be well reefed down, but as sundown is still 4 hours away and with a long twilight I'll try to put a few more miles on the log before that necessity.

A Nice Day

01 January 2018 | 1120 Miles to Cape Horn
6:00pm Monday 1st January 2018 ( UTC-3 ) Yes a nice days sail made up for a rather frustrating night when there was little if any wind for most of it. The forecast for today was for very light winds so after re routing the steering lines from the WindPilot to the drum on the wheel, and of course after breakfast and post prandial libation, set up the Katadyn manual reverse osmosis desalinator. No sooner had I started to pump than up sprung a gentle but steady wind from the Starboard beam which with all sail set produced a heel to Port of 20 to 25 degrees. Now this had the effect of me being eased right over the top of the machine and produced a sensation similar to kneeling on a skateboard and pushing yourself backwards up a steep slope with your bare knuckles on the bitumen. A half hearted trial with the pump on the Starboard side showed all the handholds that made the Port side comfortable were absent so with no further ado the system was stowed away. As a desert after lunch I made some Foster Clarks custard and po ured it over the last big slice of Chrissies cake. Very tasty. Looking forward to a good steady night sail with the full moon and clear skies and a cosy 18C cabin.
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L'Eau Commotion's Photos - Main
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Northshore 38
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