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
21 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
21 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
20 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
20 January 2018 | Porto Espanol Tierra del Fuego
19 January 2018 | 70 Miles North East of Cape Horn
19 January 2018 | 23 Miles to Cape Horn 255T ( Cape Groundhog? )
18 January 2018 | 25 Miles Cape Horn Bearing 034T
18 January 2018 | 30 Miles SW Cape Horn
18 January 2018 | 25 Miles South West of Cape Horn
17 January 2018 | 38 Miles to Cape Horn
16 January 2018 | 62 Miles from Cape Horn
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
Recent Blog Posts
21 January 2018 | Porto Espanol

Flat Out

9:30pm Sunday 21st January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) It seems hard to believe as I am still functioning quite well but I fell of the ladder when my feet at the time were 4 metres above the cabin roof and fell flat on my back. This winded me and as I lay there I felt a slight tingling in my toes which is always a good sign in these circumstances and much to my surprise I could give them a little wiggle. After a few minutes I found I was able to get up and make it to the cabin though of course feeling rather sore in my back and shoulders and snuggled up to the already prepared hot water bottle. I had put in a fair amount of effort getting the anchor in - fortunately except for about 10 metres of chain was all rope - with a pretty fresh breeze and preparing the spare anchor to drop once the main anchor was aweigh. I hoisted the chain up above the spreaders with a few metres dangling set up the ladder and started to climb up. I again thought it was pretty well stretched but the feet kept going out and a lot of weight being taken o n the hands. It also became apparent there was a bit of a swell which didn't help. Getting the loop over the cross trees was very difficult and the shackle was done up. I realised my hands were not functioning properly in the cold windy drizzle and decided to get down quickly but after a few steps down my feet shot out and I could no longer hang on and let go. I sulked for an hour or so under the blanket and when I got up found it quite painful but managed with many breaks to get going again and by the time the sun was going down hardly noticed anything remiss. I still had to get the halyard unshackled and there was no way I was going up that ladder so rigged the tackle that normally controls the main boom which is an 8:1 advantage and has a ratchet to boot so even if your hands come off the hoist rope it only lowers slowly. Pulling myself up was quite easy even with the swell but found I was about 30cm short so down again and rigged up an additional 4:1 tackle which normall y controls the main track. This was harder but manageable then up with the 8:1 and snap! unsnapped the halyard and coming down was easy. Each rest was shorter after that and with the heavy gal anchor shackles and swivel set with the bottle screw, or turnbuckle, a good sound solid stay, and other jobs completed like replacing the main sheets, replacing the tiller ropes of the self steering gear and going into the lazarette to tighten the control cables on the quadrant. And would you believe tidied up ropes and so on so should there be any reasonable breeze I can set sail first thing in the morning and a nice day sail down to photograph Cape Horn in lovely sunshine!

21 January 2018 | Porto Espanol

Repairs Well In Hand

3:30pm Sunday 21st January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Good solid solution using the anchor chain has been accomplished. Still much tidying up to do in daylight so will report details later.

20 January 2018 | Porto Espanol

Hanging On By A Thread

9:00pm Saturday 20th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Actually a few more but this is a photo of the Starboard lower shroud with maybe twelve of the nineteen original still hanging on. As you can see I had the ladder rigged to check it out and replace with a spectra rope when along came a gust and the mast got the wobbles as did I so a few more temporary temporary stays were put in place. As you could probably imagine the weather here is very unstable so for a while today light winds and drizzle then brilliant lovely sunshine, showers, rain and now wind. I still haven't worked out how to fix the problem but hoping to have at least two systems in place. The sail in yesterday afternoon was truly amazing because of the huge number of Albatross. They were sitting on an obvious current line but then for the next three miles there were never less than about ten often twenty within a stones throw and of course they kept being threatened by L'Eau Commotions at times quite fast sailing. Suddenly there would be a boil up and hundreds and hundreds would rapidly fly to the great white mass of birds with the odd Skua. I saw quite a lot of Albatross West of the Falklands two years ago, this time hardly any but I have never seen anything like the density of yesterday. I'm a little far out in the bay but I'm pretty sure there are no inhabitants despite the grand name and yes there is still one hut there as described by Shane & Vicky. --------------060102080203020501060702--

20 January 2018 | Porto Espanol Tierra del Fuego

Repairs Proceeding

3:30pm Saturday 20th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) As I am still working on the boat I will have to keep this short. Everything looks OK to proceed and with the weather as it is this is likely to be Monday morning.

19 January 2018 | 70 Miles North East of Cape Horn

Safe Harbour

3:30pm Friday 19th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Despite my earlier pessimistic reports I feel the record attempt is still very much alive. Lots of ideas have been formulated but nothing decided till a good overall picture of the defects and the extent of the assets on board are realised. Because this area is renowned for sudden and totally unexpected changes in the wind I decided to lodge in the best harbour I could find and one which I still be able to enter and leave under sail alone regardless of the weather. The charts I have of the spot chosen are a little questionable but if accurate the North West end of Bahia Agurre appears to fill the bill. This port is about 25 miles West of the Straits of Lemaire on the big island of Tierra del Fuego. It's only five miles away but as I am still under Starters Orders I have no idea when I will arrive in this dying breeze. It's been a lovely sail with the breeze swinging from NNE to West and fresh to pleasant. It's hard to believe it's blowing a full gale 70 miles away which is expected for the next couple of days so I will have time to do all the jobs and still have a complete rest at anchor.

19 January 2018 | 23 Miles to Cape Horn 255T ( Cape Groundhog? )

Down But Not Out

3:45am Friday 19th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) With another sleepless night coming to an end with a showery dawn I am thinking of ways I may be able to continue. I have three days of awful weather round the corner so I may be able to get things straitened out. Goodnight or should I say Good Dawning.

How Much is Too Much?

02 January 2018 | 1008 Miles to Cape Horn
6:00pm Tuesday 2nd January 2018 ( UTC-3 ) The quartering reach through the night was fast and reasonably comfortable but as the morning wore on and the seas started to tumble a little we eased off for a more comfortable run with double reefed main and just a small amount of jib showing. The wind went to nothing shortly after lunch so a job that was long in the making was now undertaken. The metho stove has two small burners which are either on or off - no simmering - so to cook rice I bring it to the boil and turn off. After half an hour, repeat. Repeat. This has the effect of using very little methylated spirits so 25 weeks into the voyage I have used just 25 litres so time fill the four 5 litre containers from one of the 20 litre square drums stashed away under the forward v berths. How many drums? Well each time I visited Toys for Boys ( a.k.a. Bunnings ) I would check to see if there were any spare 20 litre drums, recalling the times spent in Southern latitudes huddled over a hot water bottle and being thankful t hat I then had plenty of spare fuel for the stove. When I set out I realised I had 5 of these drums with the aforementioned 25 litres. A complete overkill? Yes - well maybe. After a fair bit of rearranging of all the junk which had ended up in the fcsl I got to the first drum. In the bouncing around it had inverted and loosened the screw top so there was only 5 litres remaining. Decant. Next drum, though upright had managed to loosen its cap so only four litres. Decant. Fortunately the next drum was full and so all the small containers are now filled, I have one other drum I know to be full and a further one so far forward under so many sails I didn't bother to check as from the time I started this necessary chore the wind had completely died with a remainder of a slop throwing things this way and that which to be polite was unpleasant. It is all grey and gloomy outside as dusk slowly overtakes us but a breeze strong enough to overcome the considerable slop is sending us nicely along on course.
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L'Eau Commotion's Photos - Main
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Northshore 38
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