VDH becalmed

A short Christmas respite for the westward bound Frenchman in the Southern Ocean

Wednesday December 25th 2002, Author: Jean-Luc van den Heede, Location: Transoceanic

Extraordinary weather for the 24th December! 19°C in the shade, sun... and no wind for six hours. I took advantage of this, wearing a T-shirt and sunglasses, to do a complete overhaul of the mainsail which I had lowered. One of the elastics which holds a reefing-line guide ring had broken. I repaired it but, more importantly, I saw that two of the six batten sliders had started to unscrew despite the stopper screw which should prevent them doing so.

Dominique Wavre warned me about this problem. In short everything is back in place again but once again this proves that it is better to prevent than to cure and this little calm has certainly gained time for me rather than making me lose it. If there hadn't been that enormous swell I would have checked out the mast but it was swinging about too much.

Now the wind has returned and Adrien is making good ground. The week that has just ended was really peaceful. The coming week will be much less so. Father Christmas has really spoilt me: CDs, DVDs, a few good bottles, chocolates, cuddly toys and plenty of books. Plenty to occupy my spare time! Apart from a few islands scattered in the Pacific, I have been one of the last people to celebrate Christmas (I am 9 hours behind GMT).

As I shall pass the date line before 31st December I will be one of the first people on earth to see in 2003.

Until tomorrow

D + 51 Position at 14H: 51°35’S 162°40’W
Wind NNW 35N. Temperature day 19° / night 9° / water 10,2°
Distance run in 24H : 182 naut miles.
Advance on Monnet 12 days and 20 hours. Distance to Ante méridien : 646 naut. miles.

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