5 days ahead

As Jean-Luc van den Heede braves the conditions of the Southern Ocean

Monday December 9th 2002, Author: Jean-Luc van den Heede, Location: Transoceanic

First big depression yesterday with a wind blowing at 60 knots and gusts going up to 70 knots. That lasted several hours but not long enough for the waves to build up, break and become dangerous.

I should say that with 50% of Adrien's weight at a depth of 4.6m the chances of capsizing are very slight. In these rough conditions, Adrien has behaved perfectly with 3 reefs in the mainsail and 2 square metres of solent unfurled forward to maintain the overall balance.

Reducing sail went without a hitch, but you don't want to be struck in the face by the spray at these wind speeds because it hurts!

After the front had passed, I made 60 miles due north which didn't help the average but I wanted to return above 57°S.

Life here is a little damp and cold. The worst thing is to have to put on an oilskin which hasn't had time to dry to go on deck during the night. The best thing is put on the oilskin again to set more canvas because the wind has moderated! Under these extreme conditions, I am delighted with my Cotten foul-weather gear, and while the oilskin comes back inside Adrien soaked, I at least remain dry.

Until tomorrow

J+36. Position at 14H :56°31’S 77°02’W
Wind NW 40N. Temperature day 8°/ night 4°/ water 4,5°
Distance run in 24H : 115 naut miles.
Advance on Monnet's record 5 days. Distance to date line 3716 naut. miles.

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