Step by step to the Great Cape
Nandor Fa talks us through his 48 hours to Cape Horn
15th March, 07 20 UTC We progress very well, so far according to the forecast. The afternoon’s forecast promised a little bit more wind and more time to escape at the cape. As far as we see now, we’ll have about 5 - 6 hours benefit. The whole afternoon we’ve sailed with a reefed main sail and reacher, in the good direction. In the evening we changed the reacher for J2, which seemed to be the right choice for the night as the wind is going to increase.
I’m sailing in the night, and it’s increasing step by step. Though I don’t need that, it’s perfect like this now.Yesterday I was a little bit down. Any time I went to the bow, I found a buckle of water at the keel, I kept taking it out through the main entrance. I can’t open the deck window because human-size splashes keep coming without a pause. I’ve tried. I couldn’t understand where is all the water from, since I took out everything carefully, with a sponge, and I checked all the bolts whether they leak. I double checked everything several times, then I realized the window was not fully closed and every bigger wave came in through the small gap. I told C about my discovery, he smiled, maybe he remembered something.15th March, 19 20, UTC We’ve had a bouncy ride the whole night, but we keep the rhythm. 30 knots northerly wind has arrived, which is more or less what the forecast said. We are still sailing in these conditions, although it has slightly turned behind us and decreased a few knots. The Pacific says goodbye to us the way it has treated us the whole time – we have not seen its nicest face, although we progressed well.Now, at 19 00 UTC we still have 110 miles to go, we will pass the line at around 02 00. It will be dark here that time, we rely only on that tiny moon that’s left, which will either show or not. The gale is right on our track, we can’t relax. To be specific, we are now sailing with its fore-wind, the hardest part is expected at the cape tomorrow at noon. We are all right, we just changed, C goes to sleep, it’s my watch now. I’ll cook something, because I’m hungry, plus it kills some time.We’ve been pushing as hard as possible. We were beating until the afternoon, when it turned to West within a half an hour. Solent instead of the stay, then reacher. Now the evening’s GRIB says we have the cyclone behind our back, much closer than we had expected. But it stops at the mountains and will continue to South. We are over the line of the Cordilleras, there are only 50 miles left. I don’t trust the weather for even one moment, I don’t dare to hoist the reacher, we sail with the main and the solent. However, we can’t take the rock’s direction, only above that, so we’ll have to gybe two more times. We are done with the first one just in time, then the wind turned with us too. Now we are making it towards East, only a little bit more south from that. The next tack will bring us in the direction of the cape, but since this wind was not in the forecast, anything can happen.It was interesting to cross the depth-line. Within 5 miles, it had changed from 3500 metres to 60. As a result, the waves have become more friendly too, for which I’m really happy, we won’t be plummeting for a while. 16th March, 00 35 UTC We’ve slowed together with the wind, at the moment we still have 40 miles to the cape, we won’t round it before 02 UT. Before it went completely dark we examined the sky and we didn’t see any signs of a storm, so we put the reacher back up to progress better.C is now sitting outside and watches. Until we pass the zone safely, none of us will sleep, not in the bed anyways.On 16th March, at 01 00 UTC our position: 56° 02' S, 068° 23,8' W,
1° to Cape Horn