Exiting the ice minefield

Banque Populaire has a close encounter with a night time growler

Tuesday December 20th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Chart above courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and PredictWind

Date time Lat Long VMG Crs Spd -inst Spd - 4hr Spd - 24hr Dist DTL DT G3
                     
20/12/2011 08:00 57°54.72'S 107°54.14'W 16.6 67° 16.6 18.1 16.7 399.6 8 344 847.3
20/12/2011 05:00 58°04.43'S 109°37.22'W 19.6 93° 19.6 20.2 17.4 417.9 8 413 868.5
20/12/2011 02:00 57°59.50'S 111°29.71'W 20.8 105° 20.8 17.7 18.3 438.4 8 490 886.4
19/12/2011 23:00 57°27.38'S 113°11.29'W -4.7 190° 18.9 16.2 19.3 462.6 8 551 917.1
19/12/2011 20:00 56°35.66'S 112°59.06'W -0.6 185° 17.3 13.8 22.2 533.9 8 542 952.3
19/12/2011 17:00 56°19.34'S 113°58.25'W 20.7 101° 20.9 21.1 24.3 583.9 8 575 950.6
19/12/2011 14:00 55°58.94'S 115°45.10'W 22.1 112° 23 20.7 25.1 603.6 8 636 928.9
19/12/2011 11:00 55°17.36'S 117°17.09'W 13.1 150° 20.1 17 25.5 611.3 8 694 912.5
19/12/2011 08:00 54°47.35'S 118°32.26'W 15.6 126° 16.8 22.3 25 600.5 8 742 929.5

Cape Horn still remains 1,317 miles away from Banque Populaire at the latest sched, as she and her crew have been threading their way through the ice zone, their senses on high alert as the slightest collision with the 40m trimaran's carbon fibre hull could result in disaster in this, one of the most remote areas of the world's oceans.

Banque Populaire came close to a collision with a growler last night, as yesterday afternoon crewman Thierry Duprey du Vorsent (below) recounted: "We're sailing with caution through the midst of some icebergs. We saw a lot yesterday and last night on the radar. We even saw our first growler in the dark. It was really surprising this meeting. We knew we had an iceberg 10 miles away so we thought we'd be safe. So we rolled the headsail to get better visibility and we have intensified our lookout. Fortunately the nights are short enough and the conditions are pretty good. We were all excited to see the famous iceberg, but now it's starting to get a little stressful, especially after the growler that we met that night. But 200-300 miles from here, we should be free of the area. But it will remain firmly anchored in my memory."

After a detour due south yesterday - presumably to get away from the ice threat, Banque Populaire this morning is back on track east although her progress is once again being hampered by the ridge she is currently trying to cross. Later today she should be through and into the southwesterlies to the west of a depression centred off Cape Horn and these should take the maxi-trimaran all the way to Cape Horn. Hopefully with the ice minefield now behind her.

See the blogs from crewman Brian Thompson

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