Into the Pacific

Jean-Luc van den Heede faces 50 knot headwinds - but this is what he signed up for...

Sunday December 8th 2002, Author: Jean-Luc van den Heede, Location: Transoceanic

I’m now really in the thick of it. After passing Cape Horn, deep in the night, without even seeing it, my arrival in the Pacific was welcomed by my first really high winds: an established 50 knots, staysail and three reefs, Adrien sometimes falling heavily when hitting the bottom of a wave, the deck swept by spray, winter fact, the usual fare for the far south! Of course I have remained careful and my average has not been extraordinary but I have not damaged anything.

Today, Sunday, the story is the same again after slightly relenting yesterday evening to 30 knots. It seems as if this evening it will be even worse than yesterday with forecasts of 50/60 knots. Adrien has broad shoulders!

As far as my progress is concerned, I shall calculate my advance relative to the longitude. In fact, my latitude is of little importance. The objective is to gain as much ground to the west to reach the Cape of Good Hope. So I shall compare our voyages at identical longitudes.

On the other hand, the distance to the date line will be relative to the imaginary point 50°S/180°W. I could well have directly used the distance to the Cape of Good Hope, but in that case, my Maxsea program advises me to go in the opposite direction! Anyway, my passage around Cape Horn was accomplished after 33 days 21 hours 27 minutes. I am ahead of Philippe by 4 days 11 hours 48 minutes.

Until tomorrow

J+35. Position at 14H: 57°27’S 73°58’W (yesterday 56°42S/68°15W)
Wind NW 40N. Temperature day 9°/ night 4°/ water 5°
Distance run in 24 h :192 naut miles (yesterday 176 naut miles).
Advance on Monnet 4 days 23 hours. Distance to Ante méridien 3787 naut. miles.

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