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
22 April 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley
21 April 2018 | Stanley, Falkland Islands
18 April 2018 | Stanley, Falkland Islands
13 April 2018 | The Camber, Stanley Harbour, Falkland Islands
30 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley
25 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley, Falkland Islands
14 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley
09 March 2018 | FIC Jetty Stanley
08 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley, Falklands
01 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley
28 February 2018 | Falkland Islands Company Jetty, Stanley
27 February 2018 | 18 Miles East of Cape Pembroke
27 February 2018 | 18 Miles East of Cape Pembroke
26 February 2018 | 24 Miles South East of Cape Pembroke
25 February 2018 | 75 Miles to Stanley
24 February 2018 | 110 Miles South of Stanley
23 February 2018 | 175 Miles South West of Stanley
22 February 2018 | 265 Miles To Stanley
21 February 2018 | 105 Miles ESE Cape Horn and 360 Miles to Stanley
20 February 2018 | 410 Miles to Cape Pembroke and Stanley, Falklands.
Recent Blog Posts
22 April 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley

Random Notes

4:00pm Sunday 22nd April 2018 ( UTC-3 ) Please bear with me on my comments on Stanley and the Falklands as I am by no means an authority and what follows must be taken as the impressions of an occasional visitor. It has been my great good fortune to become well acquainted with Bob, Janet, Jason and Andrez, all Kelpers and all with a slightly different outlook on their surroundings and circumstances but all with the common thought that this is a great place to be; indeed this also applies to the many other people with whom I have had the pleasure of conversing. As I have mentioned before Barbara and I spent six months here 42 years ago and even then there was much talk about the potential for fishing and oil but hanging over all this was the stated threat of an Argentine takeover of the Islands and this was also a time when Britain, subsequent to WW2, had already divested itself of most of its Colonies and Empire. Because of this the Colony was very much dependent for income on practically its sole industry, wool, and the vagaries of that market. The turning point of course was the Argentine invasion in 1982 and the decision of Margaret Thatcher and her Government that this naked aggression should not go unanswered. With great heroism and at substantial loss of life to themselves the Brits overcame a more numerous well dug in foe to free the Islands from that malignant dictatorship and equally as important asserted to the world that The Falklands, now an Overseas Territory of the UK, was open for business. Substantial investment res ulted in the discovery and proving of economic quantities of oil which could proceed to production at any time but the mainstay of the economy is fishing along with tourism and wool. Careful scientific management of the fishery involving trawling for one type of squid, jigging for another type, longlining for Patagonian Toothfish and " Hoovering " for Krill has been of huge benefit to the Islands and its population and yet without any apparent downside that often occurs in such circumstances to either the people or the wildlife. Nearly 60 tourist ships visit the Islands each year carrying up to 3,000 passengers each so providing buses and tour guides for penguin and seal watching as well as cafes and souvenir shops ensure many employment opportunities. The large military bases at Mount Pleasant and Mare Harbour, though largely self contained, have positive flow on effects in the community. There are no natural trees on the Falklands though interestingly enough further South where I holed up for a while in Puerto Espanol on the Island of Tierra del Fuego fixing the rigging substantial forests were located in every fold in the land and the beaches were strewn with bleached driftwood. A few types of trees planted around Stanley and the one settlement I have been to, Port San Carlos, seem to thrive but there are absolutely none in " The Camp ". Again, not being a naturalist or a grazier, the vegetation is very low to the ground and a lot of it seeming wiry or clumped together but nevertheless is capable of supporting the former population of 650,000 sheep together with a much smaller number of cattle and horses. I believe at the present there are now about 500,000 sheep and fewer horses as much of the former work done on horseback is now done with bikes, quad bikes and Land Rovers. There are vast areas of peat bogs which formerly was the main cooking and heating f uel on the Islands, including Stanley, but is now supplanted by electricity for cooking and kerosene for central heating. As such the country can be boggy for travelling and not suitable for cropping so though appearing barren is however productive. In addition to the sheep there are large numbers of the Upland Goose which are very good to eat and almost in pest proportions as they compete with the sheep for available pasture. I still avidly read the comments on my blog which brings me to my former yacht Katherine Ann. Yes she has the identical hull shape to the Mottle 33 though this was an early creation of the Joe Adams design made by laying up C- Flex fibreglass battens on frames and building up the substantial hull thickness with additional glass and resin. The deck cockpit cabin and interior fit out is plywood and varnished wood giving a very attractive traditional appearance and she served me well in the 20,000 odd miles I did in her. I spent about 200 days solo at sea in Katherine Ann and in L'Eau Commotion about 270 days, the longest stretch being 218 days from Southport to Stanley via the Canaries and passing by Cape Horn four times. At various times I also enjoyed the company of Simon ( sadly missed ) Kerrie, Tom and my daughter KT and grandson Constantine between Cairns, Brisbane, Lord Howe Island, Sydney and Hobart for another three or four weeks at sea in both yachts. Yesterday, 21st April, was the actual birthday of Queen Elizabeth the Second, and was celebrated in fine style with a military parade, in front of Stanley House of the British Army,Navy and Air Force and a contingent of the Falkland Islands Defence Force, led by a stirring marching band of The Ghurkas, with the Governor presiding and taking the 21 gun salute from two venerable Hotchkiss Mountain Guns. In a recent referendum asking should they remain an Overseas Territory of the Crown 99.7% of the people who voted said yes. The three naysayers did not make their presence felt at the ceremony.

21 April 2018 | Stanley, Falkland Islands

Demasted

Jason and the launch crew lifted the mast out of L'Eau Commotion with consummate ease. Here it is on the FIC Jetty with Katherine Ann moored alongside.

18 April 2018 | Stanley, Falkland Islands

Katherine Ann & L'Eau Commotion

Here is a shot of Katherine Ann and L'Eau Commotion taken at the FIC Jetty this morning. For those not familiar with my past attempts I sailed Katherine Ann into Stanley Harbour two years ago after capsizing and sustaining some some damage SW of Cape Horn. I sold her to Jason who is in the process of [...]

13 April 2018 | The Camber, Stanley Harbour, Falkland Islands

Getting It Together

7.00pm Friday 13th April 2018 ( UTC-3 )

30 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley

Equipment

6:00pm Good Friday, 30th March 2018 ( UTC-3 ) Everything that I consider essential to get me back to Southport with a modicum of safety has been ordered and on its way. For electrical power a Watt & Sea Hydrogenerator should arrive shortly. I decided that solar panels were too prone to be wiped out by waves to replace them and just don't have the clear deck space to fit them flat. Again I am not installing a wind generator for the same reason as the blades are susceptible to breakage and occasionally when the wind increases rapidly sometimes the auto braking is slow to stop the very high rotational speed which is rather scary if you have to be working underneath them. I have a small 20 watt solar panel on top of the little dodger over the companionway hatch which keeps the main engine starting battery always nicely topped up and thus can use the engine driven alternator for backup power; in addition I have a stowed 80 watt solar panel I can rig in calm conditions. I intend to install an Echomax active radar enhancer which lights up and sends back a powerful pulse whenever painted by a ships radar. The Raymarine tiller pilot is back in action. It was a dual failure with a corroded wire to the clutch mechanism combined with corrosion in the electronic backbone cable. I will be able to take the mast out here at the FIC Jetty to check the rigging and replace the faulty parts, install a Tricolour masthead light and by replacing the Raymarine wind cable I hope to have the windspeed and direction instrument back in operation. The replacement element for the Katadyn e40 desalinator is also on its way, but of course I still have the manual model 35. Andrez Short, a Kelper with a vast amount of sailing experience out of the Falklands to the North Atlantic as far North as Norway has been wonderful in assisting to get the equipment here as well as fixing the staysail furling mechanism which should be a real boon in heavy weather. Bob McLeod checked out the VHF which seems to be good as I will have a spare to my favourite brand acquired from Andrez, an Icom VHF. I spent an afternoon and then a full day in the museum. The exhibits and accompanying explanations are truly of world class and are housed in buildings dating back to the time of the establishment of the colony in Stanley in the 1840's. The Conflict, the invasion by Argentina in 1982, features strongly in the narrative and brought about huge changes in the lifestyles of the population. This contrast was the more interesting as Barbara and I spent six months here in 1976 after limping in in our little yacht. It is great to yarn with Andrez about times long gone. He is a direct descendant of one of the military pensioners who volunteered to come out here in 1848 and is in the process of refurbishing one of the original cottages, which he owns, built at the same time and just few houses away from that occupied by the first Short. Back in 1976, The Colony, or in PC Speak, Overseas Territory, seemed to be struggling with quite a few failed schemes which tried to diversify the economy away from its almost complete dependence on one product - wool. The economy is now booming with the addition of a large and well managed squid and finfish industry and the likelihood of production starting up of proven oil reserves in the near future. These things were talked about 40 years ago but the threat of Argentine reprisals but a lid on any exploration.

25 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley, Falkland Islands

One Stop Shop

6:00am Sunday 25th March 2018 ( UTC-3 ) Hello John Thank you for this information. It has always been my intention to get the yacht back to a sound seaworthy condition and then sail direct back to Southport under sail alone. Quite a few people have said why don't you cruise through the South Pacific [...]

Homogenisation and the Science of Climate Change

18 December 2017 | 2460 Miles to Cape Horn
9:00am Monday 18th December 2017 ( UTC-2 ) Normally we think of Science as that refined art where observations are made of things around us, their physical attributes measured and recorded and deductions made and tested as to their current state and possible future trends. Not so for the Climate Scientists of Australia. They have taken a whole new approach to the subject by first establishing and describing the dire outcomes to which we are doomed and then manipulating the data to illustrate the devastation that awaits us. Language is as important in Science as it is in all other aspects of our society so the first task undertaken by the Climate Scientist is to educate the young such that things which once appeared to be good are in fact the opposite and are indeed bad. I bring attention to their basic catchphrase Global Warming, Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect and the implication that each and every one of these things is indeed bad and in combination catastrophic. Let us look at these individually and then as a whole. First of all - Global Warming is bad. Throughout the Pleistocene from 2 million years ago to 11,000 years ago when much of the Northern Hemisphere lay under extensive glaciation modern man as he evolved barely managed to survive with little to seperate him from his antecedents, but with the Warming that set in and its attendant agriculture and civilisation he rapidly became the unique creature we are today. Of particular note that in times of greater warmth productivity and progress accelerated, in times of cooling famine plague and pestilence prevailed. Next - Carbon Dioxide is Bad As young students in a previous Century we were taught that Carbon and the Carbon Cycle were an essential part of our very existence. Plants absorbed by photosynthesis the minuscule traces of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce carbohydrates and proteins without which our bodies would soon cease to function. Ongoing research has unequivocally illustrated that with higher concentrations of carbon dioxide and a warmer atmosphere this productivity will continue to increase and as we enjoy ever increasing agricultural output we can divert much of this to our domestic animals so we can enjoy their milk and meat. Our young students of this Century are taught only that carbon dioxide is bad and to go home and tell their Mummies and Daddies to stop destroying the Planet. To Round it Out - Greenhouses are Bad Yes we tell our kiddies if their Mummies and Daddies don't desist from destroying the only planet we have by lighting up that gas barbecue and turning fresh meat into a frizzle we will follow their fate and fry as the Greenhouse Effect takes hold. So the climate Scientist has turned something that was previously held to be good, a Greenhouse where by increased warmth from the glass roof and the coke fires that also extended the growing season and exponentially the output of edible food, into something that is bad. Realising there are still a few adults left who have yet to be convinced that something that is good is in fact bad the Climate Scientist still has a few tricks up his sleeve. One of his best is to present data which undeniably shows a definite trend and then blandly state that in fact the opposite is happening. I bring attention to that popular shibboleth that we in the West with our wanton ways are causing the drastic rise in sea level and destroying the idyllic existence and swamping the very homes of our Pacific Island neighbours. One of the poster children of this thesis is the Island nation of Kiribati complete with pictures of mounds of plastic garbage as their nation disappears beneath the waves. There is only one catch to this which is not often publicised. A sea level gauge installed on that island in 1985 shows that in fact the sea level is, very slightly, receding. Look it up if it's still on the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Web Site, which also shows many re adings throughout that region with only small long term fluctuations. And I might add, look it up quickly before the Climate Scientist realises this oversight and homogenises the readings. Now until recently homogenisation was usually associated with full cream milk at your local supermarket until the strange matter of the RAAF temperature records at Amberley Aircraft Base arose. Taken to a rigid protocol since 1945, these written records show a steady but slight decrease in temperature over the last 70 years which is not in accordance with the Climate Scientist Scenario. You would think this would require some explanation but the Climatologist has a simpler solution. He states blandly that he has homogenised the records with a formula the operation of which is no ones concern but his, and the new readings now reflect the dire predictions already taken to be true and unquestionable. Now you might think this a pretty neat piece of legerdemain but wait theres more! Not only has he altered the written record he has altered the language he used to so do. Any etymological scholar will tell you that the word homogenisation is used to describe the operation of preventing the cream rising so easily to the top but in the broader sense to mix and make similar. But the climatologist has gone one better. He has now altered the word to convey it as an illusory increase in the written data and perhaps at the same time the very meaning of the word Science.
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