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 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
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
Recent Blog Posts
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 [...]

14 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley

Stephen Hawking

9:00am Wednesday 14th March, 2018 ( UTC-3 ) It was with no joy while listening to the late night World Service of the BBC that the news of the death of Stephen Hawking was received. To paraphrase. I may not agree with what he says but I shall always defend his right to say it. Though diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease in his early twenties by shear willpower he managed to promote throughout his life a different outlook on the origins of us and the Universe we live in and would have been an inspiration to many to live a more complete life despite their own handicaps. Due to my isolation from my fellow man for over 7 months it was perhaps inevitable that I should develop a mild case of the flu over the weekend with the result that follow up on placing and confirming orders has come to a complete standstill. That and the arrival in port of even quite small cruise ships, which tend to overload the satellite net, has seen little advance in the supply situation since my last post.

09 March 2018 | FIC Jetty Stanley

A Good Excuse

5:00pm Friday 9th March 2018 ( UTC-3 ) The predicted 25 knot wind gradually increased from almost calm at daybreak to around that figure by 11:00am when it gradually swung round to its present direction of North West. It is probably blowing about 40 knots at the moment with a little more forecast later in the day but fortunately backing more to the West. The 25 knots is about as much as I would like to be in as the fetch in Stanley Harbour of one mile results in quite a chop and is about the limit for these very large fenders. I was reluctant to follow the suggestion of putting out an anchor to keep L'Eau Commotion clear of the wharf as it could interfere with the operation of their launch Speedwell but even though the riding was OK it would provide a little more assurance. I have 100 metres of 10 mm nylon on the CQR which should have enough stretch to keep me comfortable. The Falklands radio has just confirmed gale force winds so today and tonight will be spent on the yacht keeping and eye on the lines and fende rs. With regards to the AIS and VHF I do have both but the AIS was always a little bit weak though adequate - it only failed in the last week or so of the journey. The VHF likewise tends to go scratchy and staticy after a while so will be replaced by, to me, the gold standard in communications, Icom. Anita expressed the thought that maybe I could restart from here and get The Horn out of the way while I and the boat are still fresh but for quite a few reasons the rules do not allow this so the plan is now to leave Stanley and if possible continue the route round Cape Horn non stop to Brisbane. Again I would pass many fascinating South Sea islands but not having a tender or good anchor chain and windlass this is impractical.

Katherine Ann & L'Eau Commotion

18 April 2018 | Stanley, Falkland Islands
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 bringing her up to a seaworthy condition again.
Repairs to L'Eau Commotion are proceeding apace with the installation of the Watt & Sea hydrogenerator and the commissioning of the Echomax Radar Enhancer which is working as per specs. I am still waiting on the rigging parts which are in Santiago Chile waiting for load capacity on the weekly flight in.

Getting It Together

13 April 2018 | The Camber, Stanley Harbour, Falkland Islands
7.00pm Friday 13th April 2018 ( UTC-3 )

It's not over yet but on a day when every old salt is on his guard and of course adamant that no rash undertakings, such as leaving port, are even considered, everything has run along smoothly. The state of play. I have the Onwa chart plotter transmitting and receiving AIS data which is a great comfort. There are literally hundreds of fishing vessels - squid jiggers, long liners and trawlers within a hundred miles of Stanley and they are Big. 75 to 80 metres is the norm and to give you an idea of the size they will unload 2000 tonnes of frozen fish at a time to the waiting freezer ships anchored in Stanley's outer harbour, Port William. These vessels often have lots of bright working lights so small vessels just cannot be seen through the glare and the AIS can show both the fisher and the sailer each other's position. The Echomax X radar enhancer is here and all the fittings and switches have been procured ( a polite way of saying begged borrowed or stolen ) . The task of fitting and wiring should take a competent electrical fitter two hours so I will be most pleased if I can get it done in a day. The Watt & Sea turbogenerator likewise is here and the support blocks bolts and fuses are all to hand. Typically a nice easy paced Facebook video would show the task finished in five minutes so I'm hoping to get that done in a day also. I have shifted over to the North side of Stanley Harbour to The Camber which is the enclosed harbour formerly used by the British Navy as a coaling station. It is fully protected from winds from any direction and was quite comfortable in 60+ knot gusts last week. It also has a small marina style dock which will be useful to fit the hydrogenerator on the transom. On the trip of less than a mile the autopilot was engaged and seems to be working smoothly. I'm hoping to have the rigging fittings here by Monday and the mast out next week to check the wiring and install a good LED tricolour mast head light, so if all goes to plan I should be on my way to Southport within the fortnight. The weather here of course is varied. Yesterday strong winds rain and hailstorms. Today all sunshine and gentle breezes so a great day to walk around this picturesque town shopping for gear, chatting to people you meet along the way and dropping in to Bob and Janet for a cup of coffee and coming away with a cabbage and a perfect brand new drop in replacement for a rather sus distribution panel; to Andrez for some home baked bread and beautifully roasted leg of mutton sandwiches for lunch and finish making and drilling the Hydrogenerator supports, to the FIC West store for really good value and tasty mutton mince and beef sausages to go with Janet's spuds and kale; and a gentle motor across the dead still Stanley Harbour to spend the weekend away from the hustle and bustle. LG. Life's Good.

Equipment

30 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley
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.

One Stop Shop

25 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley, Falkland Islands
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 Islands but I've done that and never circumnavigated so though I don't need the incentive it will be a good excuse! Communications and supply are a little more difficult here but this is more than compensated by the great advice and practical assistance I have received from so many yachtsmen resident here in the Falklands. On a different matter I was chuffed to learn that my daughter Katherine Ann with Emma yesterday won the Club Class Australian Double Sculls Championship, an event open to all comers except those who are seeking International selection. She has also been selected in the Queensland Interstate Veterans Eight so I am understandably very proud of her for continuing a family tradition. Regards Bill

-----Original Message----- From: SailBlogs <autopilot@sailblogs.com> Sent: Sun, 25 Mar 2018 05:11:55 -0300 Subject: SailBlogs: John Brooks left a comment on your SailBlog

The following comment was left on your SailBlog:

John Brooks (jlesliebrooks@gmail.com) says:

Hi Bill, Hope you are well and that things are proceeding OK for you in the Falklands. I realise things are a bit different this time around in that you will have a serviceable craft once more when repairs are complete unlike last time when all you could do was sell up and move on. So, I am just checking to see what your plans are and if you realise that, if you continue around the Horn and if you succeed in getting home OK, you will be eligible for a Performance Certificate for a circumnavigation with one stop, thereby getting into the record books? Not as good as the big first-west-about-non-stop I know, but better than nothing for all your efforts. Cheers John

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Stephen Hawking

14 March 2018 | FIC Jetty, Stanley
9:00am Wednesday 14th March, 2018 ( UTC-3 ) It was with no joy while listening to the late night World Service of the BBC that the news of the death of Stephen Hawking was received. To paraphrase. I may not agree with what he says but I shall always defend his right to say it. Though diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease in his early twenties by shear willpower he managed to promote throughout his life a different outlook on the origins of us and the Universe we live in and would have been an inspiration to many to live a more complete life despite their own handicaps. Due to my isolation from my fellow man for over 7 months it was perhaps inevitable that I should develop a mild case of the flu over the weekend with the result that follow up on placing and confirming orders has come to a complete standstill. That and the arrival in port of even quite small cruise ships, which tend to overload the satellite net, has seen little advance in the supply situation since my last post.

A Good Excuse

09 March 2018 | FIC Jetty Stanley
5:00pm Friday 9th March 2018 ( UTC-3 ) The predicted 25 knot wind gradually increased from almost calm at daybreak to around that figure by 11:00am when it gradually swung round to its present direction of North West. It is probably blowing about 40 knots at the moment with a little more forecast later in the day but fortunately backing more to the West. The 25 knots is about as much as I would like to be in as the fetch in Stanley Harbour of one mile results in quite a chop and is about the limit for these very large fenders. I was reluctant to follow the suggestion of putting out an anchor to keep L'Eau Commotion clear of the wharf as it could interfere with the operation of their launch Speedwell but even though the riding was OK it would provide a little more assurance. I have 100 metres of 10 mm nylon on the CQR which should have enough stretch to keep me comfortable. The Falklands radio has just confirmed gale force winds so today and tonight will be spent on the yacht keeping and eye on the lines and fende rs. With regards to the AIS and VHF I do have both but the AIS was always a little bit weak though adequate - it only failed in the last week or so of the journey. The VHF likewise tends to go scratchy and staticy after a while so will be replaced by, to me, the gold standard in communications, Icom. Anita expressed the thought that maybe I could restart from here and get The Horn out of the way while I and the boat are still fresh but for quite a few reasons the rules do not allow this so the plan is now to leave Stanley and if possible continue the route round Cape Horn non stop to Brisbane. Again I would pass many fascinating South Sea islands but not having a tender or good anchor chain and windlass this is impractical.
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