Holy heart failure for Jean-Luc van den Heede mid-Southern Ocean

Saturday January 4th 2003, Author: Jean-Luc van den Heede, Location: Transoceanic

What a fright! I was quietly in the process of replying to e-mails when I felt something hit Adrien. I bounded up on deck thinking of a growler... I was surrounded by a school of pilot whales which were heading south. I think one of them coming from starboard wanted to insist on his right of way! But the Pechiney (the builders of the yacht) aluminium hull must have given him a big bruise! I had the same incident with Algimouss, three years ago, and I am delighted that I chose aluminium.

What I am less pleased about is that because of tacking, the leech of my pretty Kevlar solent in the colours of the Adrien Group has begun to tear.

For the moment it is holding, but it won't hold until the finish line. One day I shall have to replace it with my old spectra solent. That means going up the mast twice and I don’t find the prospect of doing that particularly enchanting. I shall wait until the sea is calmer!

At the moment it isn't calm; a not too severe depression has arrived above me.

Until Sunday

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