Day 25 - Thursday, 4th August 2011
Well it’s finely calmed down enough to do some typing, when I say calm it is still blowing 20-30 knots with waves breaking over the boat now and again. On Tuesday afternoon the next front started coming over me with the wind starting to gust over 40 knots. I decided to put the drogue out early as I knew it was going to increase and so it did that afternoon with the wind gusting 50 then over 60+ knots some times.
The storm was looking to be the worst one yet with that much wind, but BWR seemed to be coping ok with it and the drogue was doing a fantastic job. After a wild night I fell asleep for a bit too long and when I woke up to check the drogue line, I felt it snap bugger, I through there goes my life saving device. As I was thinking what to do to make another one, the wind started to gust over 60 knots again. With no drogue out all I could do was hang on as BWR surfed down the huge 12m swell. But she seemed to handle it all ok and it was an OMG moment. A big thanks must go to Robin Chamberlin for designing an awesome catamaran whose flared bows saved the day. I managed to make a drogue out of the bolt cutters with a bridle on them to hold them sideways to create more drag. I managed to get that out early Wednesday morning and it worked a treat because by lunch time the wind was dying off, a big relief. The swells that morning where the biggest that I have ever seen, they must have been 12m plus absolutely massive, real southern ocean stuff!! Well it looks like sw winds then some se head winds in the next few days, bugger not meant to have those in the southern ocean, so it will slow me down and delay my rounding of Tasmania until early next week.
On another note one of my team members Pat Gannon who has played a huge part in this voyage was taken ill this week and had to have heart surgery but is doing ok. If you have read Jessica Watson’s book you would know that Pat and his wife Judy where responsible for me meeting Jessica so we all have a special bond there and are great friends and mates. My heart goes out to Pat and Judy as well and I wish Pat a speedy recovery and will see him soon.
PHOTO - Bolt Cutter Drogue