illbruck steps out

Kostecki has opened the throttle despite icebergs and big seas

Sunday February 3rd 2002, Author: Peter Bentley, Location: Transoceanic
John Kostecki reports, that illbruck now has a full time ice watch on the radar

We are officially in the Southern Ocean today. We are seeing ice, getting strong winds and having rough seas.

Many boats today reported growlers, small bits of ice, which were not showing up on the radar screen. This is scary. What do you do at night? Good question..... we do not have an answer, except hang on and hope for the best. Many people say that it is more dangerous crossing a busy city street than racing in the Southern Ocean. I hope they are right! We do keep an eye out on the radar and hope that the ice is big enough that it shows up on the screen.

We also had some strong breeze today gusting to 40 knots. It is a bit much with the kite up at times, but you just ride it out. You have to play the averages. Keep an eye on the average wind speed over a period time, which gives you the trend. If the trend is up, over 35-40 knots, then it might be time to drop the kite.... But are the other guys doing that? We don't know, but we do know that everyone is pushing these boats to the limit.

It is very difficult to sleep when you do get the chance. The boat is shuddering and bouncing around on top of the waves. The water noise is incredibly loud, rushing by at 25-30 knots of boat speed. Working the spinnaker sheet in and out as the boat surfs over every wave is probably the loudest noise on the boat. Most of our guys wear ear-plugs to help filter out all these noises. As skipper of the boat, I like to sleep with my ears clear so I hear everything and be ready for anything.

Page three.... Paul Cayard asks, Ice jacuzzi or fire hose?
Page four.... Steve Hayles reports 'Ice Everywhere'.

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