By Brian Hancock
I hope that you read my update yesterday about the late great Sir Peter Blake. Just one more story if you will indulge me. Quite a few years ago, when I was barely beyond the knee high to a grasshopper stage, (or as they say in South Africa, Two Bricks and a Tickey High), I was sitting at the airport in Southampton waiting for a flight to Antwerp. Now you have to understand that Blakey was an imposing man. He was over six feet tall and somehow managed to keep a full head of blond hair (unlike me). I was sitting there reading a book when the exit door burst open (and I mean burst open), and there was Sir Peter in a full length black coat. He just nodded to me as if he thought that he might have known me from somewhere, but right behind him was his beautiful wife Pippa carrying all the bags. But I digress.
Let’s start at the front of the fleet (and I have not forgotten you on LSD. It’s just that the boat name is so hard to type. What’s with all those apostrophe thingamajigs that the French use?). OK back to my update. There is a small system in the Tasman Sea that is giving Pen Duick VI a headache, as in headwinds. While at the same time it’s giving Translated 9 a good shot up the ar*se (as they say in Australia – don’t get on my ar*se for saying that – go to Australia. By the way this update is sponsored by the Australian Tourism Board – not.)
Spirit of Helsinki seem to have been dipping into the gluhwein early (it’s not Christmas yet) and have taken a dip to the south. Not sure of their strategy, but remember that Finns are Vikings and they found their way to the Western World in pretty ramshackle boats. They actually found Iceland, which, luckily enough for me (finding Iceland that is) gave me two awesome boys. A mix of Iceland and South Africa. Now that’s bit of a strange mix-up, but there you go. They were from Sigrun, my second wife but as you know life has its twist and turns and now Sally is a pure gift to me. She actually brought twin boys to our marriage – so lucky. Five kids between us .
Oh before I go on I just remembered that today is Finnish Independence Day. Finland declared its independence from the Russian Empire on December 6, 1917 shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution. That might account for them dipping into the gluhwein early.
Maiden is taking a short cut but it may not work out that well. There are light winds in their future. On the other hand Translated 9 is going to find some stiff (sorry) breeze from the north in the next few days. The middle of the pack are enjoying some decent weather as they duck under Tasmania. Just think out it, They are ducking under a huge piece of land. That’s around-the-world sailing for you. They already ducked under Australia (yes I know Tasmania is part of Australia but even so; point made… ).
White Shadow is going great at just under 9 knots, according to the YB Tracker and covered over 200 miles in the last 24 hours which by any measure is a good day at the office.
Sterna and Explorer are have their own race with just 3 miles separating them on a DTF (distance to finish) basis and the weather seems quite settled for them. Seems like I leave Neptune out of these updates. It’s a beautiful boat masterfully skippered by Tanneguy Raffray. They are chasing the mid-pack doing a more than respectable 9 knots in a fairly decent northwesterly breeze.
I really don’t want to make these updates about me. They are about the great adventurous sailors in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. However, once we got the Bedford van fixed and the ‘roo bar straightened and the beer supply more supplied, we carried on our trip across the Nullabor. More tomorrow.
Happy Wednesday to all the wonderful people sailing this great adventure and to all of you awesome folks that have nothing else better to do than read my drivel….
Don’s Daily Tracker Update
Strong weather approaching Team Sterna and Explorer next 24/48hrs. Sterna is receiving weather advice and routing suggestions from their team in Cape Town and OGR have supplied weather alerts to Explorer. This low was not looking bad 24 hours ago but intensified overnight and dropped down toward both boats.