Ian Walker: Becalmed in the 'Roaring' Forties

Ian Walker: Becalmed in the 'Roaring' Forties

Sunday March 25 2012 Author: Ian Walker ADOR Location: none selected

They call it the Roaring Forties but right now we are experiencing more of a whimper. We have finally reached the Western ice gate waypoint and must now try and head due east. I say ‘try’ because unfortunately, as we expected, we are now totally becalmed as the centre of the high pressure passes over the top of us.

In 24 hours we should be clear and can start making proper progress towards Cape Horn. The fact that we have known this would happen for a few days means there is no angst onboard and considering our predicament, relatively little frustration. We cannot help but look at the position and wind reports of the boats ahead to even wonder if we aren’t in the best place.

We have no idea what is happening on Camper who have been slow now for over 24 hours and Telefonica also now seem to possibly be suffering problems too. Maybe this offers us a way back on this leg or maybe they will soon be up and running at full speed again soon – who knows. One thing I do know is that the relentless strong winds experienced by the leading pack must be taking their toll. I also know that we will fall much further behind in the next 24 hours before we can try and make any gains. All we can do is to try and scramble as many miles to the east that we can in the wildly shifting, light winds. I am tempted to pray for wind but I have a feeling that in this part of the world that may be a dangerous thing to pray for.

On a positive note it may be chilly but it is a fantastically beautiful night on deck – it’s not so often you get to see bright stars in a clear sky in the Southern Ocean!

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