Into the roaring 40s
Position: 42deg 00'S 11deg 14'W
Av/Max boat speed in last hour: 19.75 / 29.7 knots
Av/Max wind speed in last hour: 19.75 / 32.0 knots
Wind direction: 287
Distance to WP5 42 00'S / 18 28'W 490nm south of Cape of Good Hope : 1318 nm
(theorectical shortest distance)
Kingfisher2 continues to maintain high speeds as she eats the miles eastwards whilst the crew work on repairing the damage to the wind instruments. Staying at 42-43 degrees south, Kingfisher2 will keep a good pressure gradiant of 33-35 knots for the next 48 hours to join the next big low on Sunday night/Monday.
Ellen writes from on board:
We've arrived... and the timeless gate keeper to the Southern Ocean welcomed us.
As we had barely crossed the 30th parallel we saw our first albatross - Hervé told me that the French call it the 'smoky gull', and I cursed myself for having come down here once again without having learnt more about the various species. Then again there are books that tell us, but we don't carry many books because they are too heavy. Our reading consists of manuals on CDs, instructions on how to cook our freeze dried printed on laminated sheets, signs on the usage of safety equipment and emergency drills - and finally - the Antarctic pilot guide. The book I cannot wait to read...
The Antarctic is a fascinating place - full of life - much more so in fact than the South Atlantic. Though I hate to say it, we had bad luck in the Atlantic - the weather was unpredictably bad, and what makes it a little bit harder is that the Atlantic is the only ocean we have to sail through twice in this record attempt. Now as I type we have passed the 40th parallel and almost on cue we have sailed into the front of our first Soutern Ocean low. The sky is grey - there are storm peterels fluttering over the water's surface, and the water temperature is losing a degree every watch change.
There was pure ecstacy in the galley last night at 0300 as Damian made the porridge, he discovered that we had a tin of maple syrup that Bruno had bought back from Canada. Heavy items such as tins just don't exist on trips like this. So it was a real luxury and we all felt very grateful to Guillermo who cunningly slipped it on board. After several permutations of food, we have now got around to realising that we have in fact tried everything at least three times and with our menu will be seeing little variation for the next month or so... Each meal is freeze dried, each two days food for fourteen is in a kit bag about the size of a sports kit bag filled with vaccum packed pouches of powder. It does not look like those volumes could possbly feed our hungry bodies.
I was very nervous yesterday as we headed down towards the south. The sky had cleared for a while after our first cloud band and the temperature was still warm outisde. I could sense a kind of 'waiting' in the attitude of the guys. I think we all just want to get stuck into it now... We are tired of sailing slowly and frustrated at how slow things have been. Sadly for us, the part of the trip which de Kersauson completed in record time was the part where we sailed slower than the previous record holder. No one ever flinched though, no one ever said anything negative. Everyone just fought and fought until we had come through the other side to begin our new phase of the trip and the speeds we have been doing is nothing short of awesome... The positive thing is that most of us have had a real chance to catch up on sleep and are on good form for the south. I personally now feel a little sense of relief to be down here.. it's an odd feeling, but this is one of the oceans I feel the most at home in. Here I am expected to remain constantly on my toes - watching every satellite picture coming in - monitoring every change in sea temperature... It's a very "real" and completely "living" place to sail. Now the waves are bigger, the sky is greyer, I'm at last not sitting in the nav station in a pool of sweat - and, above all we can get on with it!
Last night kind of summed it all up really. There was a full moon beaming out over KINGFISHER2, it was almost as if the deck was floodlit by the heavens. As I wrote the night's tactic out I didn't even need a torch. We were sailing at speeds of 25 to 30 knots with the solent and the full main, the boat felt as if she was flying just skimming over the waves which were even and flat as we sailed into a zone which had been dominated by a high pressure. It reminded me of the Vendée- sailing with a full moon - the water shining and my heart feeling full of life and energy. Though little was said on the watch last night I had a funny feeling that I wasn't the only one feeling this. The lack of chatter was testament to the unbelieveable beauty this world has to offer us. Once again I was stunned, absolutely stunned - and I hope that's a feeling I will still have for the rest of my life...
ANDREW PREECE: "For the last half an hour the speedo has hardly dropped below 30 knots, the boat is covered in a fine mist of spray from the continual breakers that are being hammered skywards by the bows. Guillermo's watch crew in goggles and helmets to protect themselves from the battering. Every now and again the back beam is hammered by a wave that sounds like a car smacking into a wall as the windward hull lifts clear of the water..."
JULES VERNE USHANT (START) TO CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TIMES:
2003 Geronimo (de Kersauson) 16 days 14 hours 35 minutes 21 seconds
2002 Orange (Peyron) 18 days 18 hours 40 minutes
KF2 must cross longitude 018 28'E before 01:28GMT Tuesday 18.2.03
1997 Sport Elec (de Kersauson) 21 days 18 hours 17 minutes
KF2 must cross longitude 018 28'E before 01:05GMT Friday 21.2.03
1994 ENZA (Blake/Knox-Johnston) 19 days 17 hours 53 minutes
KF2 must cross longitude 018 28'E before 0041GMT Wednesday 19.2.03
1993 Commodore Explorer (Peyron) 21 days 12 hours 48 minutes
KF2 must cross longitude 018 28'E before 19:36 Thursday 20.2.03