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
18 February 2018 | 160 Miles West of Cape Horn
17 February 2018 | 200 Miles West of Cape Horn
17 February 2018 | 200 Miles West of Cape Horn
16 February 2018 | 280 Miles West of Cape Horn
15 February 2018 | 350 Miles West of Cape Horn
15 February 2018 | 385 Miles West of Cape Horn
14 February 2018 | 386 Miles West of Cape Horn
13 February 2018 | 430 Miles West of Cape Horn
12 February 2018 | 475 Miles From Cape Horn, Bearing 079 T
11 February 2018 | 515 Miles WSW Cape Horn
10 February 2018 | 480 Miles WSW Cape Horn
09 February 2018 | 455 Miles WSW Cape Horn
08 February 2018 | 427 Miles SW Cape Horn
07 February 2018 | 460 Miles SSW Cape Horn
06 February 2018 | 420 Miles SSW Cape Horn
05 February 2018 | 383 Miles SSW Cape Horn
04 February 2018 | 330 Miles SSW Cape Horn
04 February 2018 | 325 Miles SSW Cape Horn
03 February 2018 | 287 Miles SSW Cape Horn
02 February 2018 | 220 Miles SSW Cape Horn
Recent Blog Posts
18 February 2018 | 160 Miles West of Cape Horn

Solid Mist

2:00pm Sunday 18th February 2018 ( UTC-5 ) The wind has swung round more to the North and the promise is for fair following winds for the next few days. For most of this morning and all afternoon there has been a heavy mist - not quite a fog as visibility would be about half a mile. Everything seems to be holding up so the plan is to give Cape Horn and the Straits of Lemaire a good offing to avoid to some extent the admittedly fairly light traffic in these parts and thence on to the Falklands .

17 February 2018 | 200 Miles West of Cape Horn

Emergency Tiller Photo

3:45pm Saturday 17th February 2018 ( UTC-5 ) I have sent this photo separately as sometimes they have to many pixels and it's a devilish job to reboot. --------------000901060600070404010303--

17 February 2018 | 200 Miles West of Cape Horn

Headwinds?

3:00pm Saturday 17th February 2018 ( UTC-5 ) Yes I know they were forecast - I had taken this into account on my plan to go to Isla London - but even so... Of course I wavered for just a little and had a peek around the corner and what did I see? The usual. North West winds strong to gale force for days and days. So here I am heading North and should pick up the beginning of these to have me sailing past you know where within a couple of days. I rearranged the emergency tiller steering a little with a small 4:1 block and tackle which has a jam cleat which allows easy setting of any rudder bias. This direct to the rudder system seems precise and I am giving serious thought to making this the permanent system with of course the tiller fixed to the rudder head in a solid and permanent arrangement. The system of ropes I have now will be good for quite a few days but does invite wear on the aluminium that fits over the squared off rudder stock. We were becalmed for quite a while from early this morning but over the last thre e or four hours the wind is gradually rising and we can expect around thirty knots overnight, so much reduced sail is the order of the day. And of course a big thank you to all of you who have left comments on my site.

16 February 2018 | 280 Miles West of Cape Horn

Calling It Quits

12:30pm Friday 16th February 2018 ( UTC-5 ) I was heading for a good looking bay on Isla London when this morning a biggish wave cleaned off the solar panels and wind generator. I had no option but to cut them loose for they were trailing in the water and banging against the WindPilot threatening to damage it. After much soul searching and many cups of hot coffee and a big bowl of porridge I feel there are just too many systems not functioning properly to continue the voyage with a margin of safety. The winds seem to be pretty strong and from the North West for a lot of the time and I would guess the best tactic would be to charge ahead as soon as they ease a bit. The trouble is without a main it is hard to make headway in the left over confused seas and when a fair amount of sail is presented its best not to look at what the mast is doing. In addition I now have no navigation lights or the means to make them, the AIS has just decided to pack it in, three of the four main batteries will not hold or accept charge. Of mi nor concern but still problematic the electric bilge pump is cactus though the two manual ones are OK. Add to this no autopilot, no wind indicator, a VHF that's about to croak and of course the ever present worry about the wobbly mast and a possibly suspect Port side lower shroud - I think I might have seen one broken wire at the top end fitting but can't be sure. Accordingly the plan is to head for the Falklands via Cape Horn. If the systems are still functioning at the Cape I will continue on - if not I might just have enough fuel to motor to Ushuaia. So far I have done nothing to invalidate the attempt but the thought of holding possible rescuers to account for an unseaworthy vessel when the solution of refitting at Stanley is at hand leaves me with little choice. The same would apply to the conscience of any Watch Keeper should I be seen too late or too close to manoeuvre, or read of a missing yacht where they might have been at night.

15 February 2018 | 350 Miles West of Cape Horn

Emergency Tiller

10:30pm Thursday 15th February 2018 ( UTC-5 ) I of course read and take on board suggestions regarding the emergency tiller but with the the sea state and rising winds I feel I have no choice but to make a good solid setup in calmer waters if it is to perform over many miles. I would like to fix the wheel steering if possible in case the emergency tiller setup fails and this really can only be done in calm conditions. So as not to throw away all of those hard won Westies I am heading for an anchorage on London Isla near Paso Pratt 54 45S 71 52W. A pulley has come free under the pedestal and I cannot see if the axle has just slid out or the casting has broken. I will know in the next couple of days.

15 February 2018 | 385 Miles West of Cape Horn

Another Setback

3:30pm Thursday 15th February 2018 ( UTC-5 ) A few hours back I noticed the steering had become wonky and after donning the gear and harness discovered one of the pulleys controlling the two cables to the quadrant had come adrift. Being too rough to attempt repairs in the cramped lazarette the emergency tiller was set up and seems to be controlled quite well by the WindPilot. Accordingly the plan is to find shelter behind Cape Horn and see if a good permanent repair can be made. It should take about four days to get there.

A trying Day

26 January 2018 | 22 Miles to Cape Horn
4:00pm Friday 26th January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) Trying to get past Cape Horn, that is. The breeze didn't stir till 7:00pm last night and then only very quietly. All through the night it changed direction and strength and with the many islands and rocks in the vicinity it would not have been sensible to trust the windvane so not much sleep was had. It came in fresh on the nose in the early morning and by degrees the jib was furled leaving just the storm jib up which in the stiff but not strong breeze would not take us to windward. The mast stays got a minor try out and all seemed up to spec. but I guess I won't try to press on too hard when on the Port tack just to be safe. The breeze is now about 6 knots so another night with little sleep is expected. There are rain showers and cloud to the South West and therefore no photos so I am passing the time away pumping ions.
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L'Eau Commotion's Photos - Main
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Northshore 38
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