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
11 November 2017 | 525 Miles to Hierro
10 November 2017 | 625 Miles to Hierro
09 November 2017 | 705 Miles to Hierro
08 November 2017 | 810 Miles to Hierro
07 November 2017 | 920 Miles to Hierro
07 November 2017 | 1035 Miles to Hierro
06 November 2017 | 1035 Miles to Hierro
05 November 2017 | 1140 Miles to Hierro
04 November 2017 | 1235 Miles to Hierro
03 November 2017 | 1245 Miles to Hierro
02 November 2017 | 1270 Miles to Hierro
02 November 2017 | 1350 Miles to Hierro
31 October 2017 | 1470 Miles to Hierro
30 October 2017 | 1595 Miles to Hierro
29 October 2017 | 650 Miles North West of Ascension
28 October 2017 | 525 Miles North West of Ascension
27 October 2017 | 360 Miles North West of Ascension
26 October 2017 | 195 Miles North West of Ascension
25 October 2017 | 15 Miles North West of Ascension
24 October 2017 | 135 Miles South East of Ascension
Recent Blog Posts
22 January 2018 | Porto Espanol

Plan A

9:00am Monday 22nd January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) The chain broke after a few miles so sailed carefully back with a wobbly mast. They say fibre to the home is best but I will try fibre to the mast. Gorgeous sunny weather with more Albatross than seagulls at a Sunday School picnic by the seaside.

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.

Plan A

22 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
9:00am Monday 22nd January 2018 ( UTC-4 ) The chain broke after a few miles so sailed carefully back with a wobbly mast. They say fibre to the home is best but I will try fibre to the mast. Gorgeous sunny weather with more Albatross than seagulls at a Sunday School picnic by the seaside.

Flat Out

21 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
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!

Repairs Well In Hand

21 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
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.

Hanging On By A Thread

20 January 2018 | Porto Espanol
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--

Repairs Proceeding

20 January 2018 | Porto Espanol Tierra del Fuego
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.

Safe Harbour

19 January 2018 | 70 Miles North East of Cape Horn
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.
L'Eau Commotion's Photos - Main
1 Photo
Created 23 July 2017
1 Photo
Created 23 July 2017
1 Photo
Created 22 July 2017
Northshore 38
1 Photo
Created 14 September 2016
No Photos
Created 14 September 2016