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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18th At Sea

February 18th At Sea, South Georgia bound

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We've been under way now for over 34 hours and so far it's been smooth sailing. In fact since 0100 this morning the engine has been turned off and we have been propelled entirely by the wind. The Jib, Main sail and Mizzen have been filled with a steady 20knot Northerly breeze and we've been zipping along at an easy 7 knots.

We departed Stanley at 0700 yesterday morning and as we pulled away from the dock Lin, Brian's wife stood waving, wishing she was joining us. Just as we transited out of the Port Stanley gap, we could still make out the little figure of Lin still waving vigorously, perhaps filled with various emotions of apprehension and excitement. Lin and Brian have spent many years sailing on their own boat and being apart is a rare thing.

We were welcomed by calm conditions offering us glassy seas and the familiar escorts whom 11 days ago guided us into the harbour, the gregarious and playful Peales dolphins.

Already Brian was showing good form as he assisted Magnus with the stowing of lines and buoys, as well as his continual curiosity of how all the systems work on the boat. Over the past 34 hours he has been out on deck helping with sail changes and keeping a keen eye on the radar. We are blessed to have had such a person turn up, keen as custard in joining us on this journey to South Georgia for the Plight of the Albatross.
Having not long been in open sea, we were joined by a lone Wanderer just as the golden hour of the evening fell upon us. The smooth ocean swell was drenched in a Rose' glow as the sun dipped below the horizon. Land was no longer in sight and the Albatross elegantly painted the sky with its graceful brush strokes offering me an opportunity to film and be in its presence.
Everyone has quickly settled into their watches. I am on watch from 0400 to 1000 then 1600 to 2200. We have to be diligent at keeping a close eye on the radar because we are potentially in ice country. A tabular iceberg was sighted at Shag rocks (160 nautical miles from South Georgia) a few days ago and depending on the wind and the current, an iceberg that size can drift in any direction. One of the concerns about navigating these waters is the bergy bits and growlers which peel off various sized icebergs. Hitting a chunk of ice is like hitting a rock and although this steel hulled boat is solid strong, we still want to go out of our way to avoid hitting any ice.

We are aiming for Shag Rocks which is 356 miles away from where we are at. We have already covered 230 nm since leaving Stanley and are making excellent progress, all under sail.

Over the next 24 hours the wind will pick up to about 35 knots but will soon die off and start coming at us gently from the west, perfect for our South Georgia destination.

As I write this I can hear the wind whipping at the lines and sheets, screaming through the other rigging components. I'm bracing myself at the galley table keeping steady by having my feet spread apart and back stiff and straight. At least my tummy muscles are getting primed for kayaking. Both Beth-Anne and I are being more diligent at taking regular sea-sickness medication and eating and drinking throughout the day. So far so good.

It feels fabulous to be on our way. It still seems fairly surreal that we are actually on our way to South Georgia - one day at a time Hayls, one day at a time :)

Hello and best wishes to you all and a special hi and hug to Lin from Brian.


Peggy O said...

What a wonderful picture you have painted and shared with us. This kayaking friend is wishing you all the best from Minnesota.

nikki_river said...

hey girls!

So glad to know that you are safely on your way to South Georgia. Take care of those tummies on the way over and stay safe. Can't wait to hear all the details. Love and hugs, Nik

Kerry said...

So happy and proud that you are finally on your way to your goal. The visuals that you write about make it seem as if I am there. I will be watching. ODAT.


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