Calm after the storm

As Around Alone competitors head for the tropics

Tuesday October 22nd 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: United Kingdom
El Monte Real Club de Yates - La Bayonne, Spain

If one is going to be trapped in port, this is as good as a club to be in as any I could imagine. El Monte Real Club de Yates has treated us with extraordinary kindness.

They have helped to replace the seals on our engines so that we can comply with Around Alone rules, they have offered to tow us back to the point where we can begin racing again, and they have extended the use of the gorgeous facilities of their club to us. All of us are most grateful for the hospitality.

But are we ready to leave. I have done some minor repair work to the rigging of the lazyjacks on the main, made a visit to the grocery store and hardware store, have packed up my clean clothes and am ready to head for Cape Town.

There is one small problem - the harbour entrance is impassable at the moment. 20 to 25 foot breakers are pounding the entrance, 30 to 40 knot winds continue to whip up the seas, and cells of heavy wind and rain continue to lash the area. So this slow-moving storm, which Commander's Weather yesterday called a Super-Storm, still has us pinned in La Bayonne
Why a Super-Storm? The remants of Hurrican Kyle linked up with another deep low pressure system to make one huge storm. What made it worse was its slow pace across the ocean. Boats caught in a storm like this stay in it for days because the storm itself is not moving. So right now, we all want to go, but not at the risk of losing our boats at the mouth of the harbor. The current plan is to leave tomorrow morning. I'll keep you all appraised of any changes.

You may know that Simone Bianchetti has reached land in La Carina, Spain. His shore crew is trying to organise a replacement rig so that he can continue. The other four Class One boats are now south of the storm in light southerly winds. We hope to join them tomorrow.


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