VDH thinks of Christmas

But complains of constant westerlies as he ploughs westward across the Southern Ocean

Wednesday December 18th 2002, Author: Jean-Luc van den Heede, Location: Transoceanic

Beating, still beating, always beating!

If only the wind wouldn't be so obstinate as to always come from the west. But for the last 48 h, it has varied by nearly 10°. While 10° isn't insignificant I am still tacking and tacking again as if it were a Sunday regatta.

In these frequent tacks, I appreciate my coffee grinder which allows me to sheet in my Kevlar solent rapidly. The second most frequent manoeuvre at the moment is changing from 2 reefs to 1 and back again depending whether the real wind is above or below 27 knots. I have a margin between 25 and 30 knots but these are really the limits of the wind strength at the moment so I’m taking in or shaking out, and sometimes I hesitate.

Apart from that life on board Adrien is fine. I am beginning to think of Father Christmas! I already know 2 things: I shall make myself duck "à l'orange" and a loaf of real fresh bread for the occasion.

As to opening presents, it will take me all day because I was really spoilt before I left. Let’s hope that the wind will decide for one side or the other!

Until tomorrow

D+45. Position at 14H : 51°54’ S / 124°38’ W
Wind 28knots from the west Temperature day 9°C/night 5°C/water 6.8°C
Distance run in 24H : 164 naut miles
Advance on Monnet 7 days and 3 hours. Distance to Ante méridien : 2101 naut. miles.

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