(Above) Capt. Eric Forsyth and the Fiona
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Position is 45º35S 040º49W; the distance to Tristan Da Chuna is 1355 nm. For the past 24 hours, seas have been rough, with wind gusts to 50 knots and sustained winds at 30 to40 knots. We are sailing with a doubled-reefed main and spite fire jib. Fiona is sailing well, using "Victor the Wind Vane" and the crew are fine
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--As of 6 Dec, 18.30, Fiona's position is 46 54s 42 02W; Tristan is 1422 nm away. Today was a day of variable winds--the calm in the morning allowed us to tighten the head and back stay. Now, have 25-knot winds with reefed main and jib. Curry for supper tonight. Fiona and crew are all well.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona spent last night hove-to, but today the weather improved and we had the steering system repaired by noon. Unfortunately, we used the last spare masterlink on the boat, so we must hope for no more steering problems. Also a heavy wave yesterday caused the universal joint connecting the lower and upper rudder posts to fracture, so we no longer have the option of using a tiller if we lose the wheel again. We will try to sail gently to Cape Town. Our position is 48 31S, 45 26W. Tristan da Cunha is 1579 nm ahead.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--48º53S 046º27W; 1624 nm till Tristan Da Cunha. Fiona spent the night hove-to, in order to wait-out heavy winds and rough seas until we could deal with steering system problems. We anticipate resolving the steering maintenance today--Dec 4--as the weather and seas are cooperating. There were some good sailing winds yesterday and we anticipate excellent opportunities in the future. All crew on board are well.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--We are still powering in calm winds; not a bad thing as it is helping the boat to dry out. We are expecting some wind by midnight. David rescued the hard drive from my waterlogged computer and installed it in his machine. Now we have Sailmail again! All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona ran into a gale and has sustained damage. Computer and email also down. Destination has been changed to Cape Town, South Africa. ETA is January 1st, 2014. All is well on board. More details to come.
502 00 S 55
route from Port Stanley, Falkland Islands to King George Island,
Fiona ran into very heavy weather (60 knots wind, rough
seas). During this period, several items were damaged on Fiona;
major events were practically sinking, due to a hose coming loose,
breakage of the steering chain, loss of primary computer, and
finally, the staysail was torn to shreds. All items were repaired
except for the staysail, for which we did not have a replacement.
Without the staysail, progress in high winds is very difficult.
Thus, we have decided to go to Cape
South Africa for a new staysail and much-needed repairs. Aside
from everyone taking a good, salty bath, no one was hurt and
all members of the crew are well. To break the 3000-nm journey
to Cape Town, we will stop in Tristan
Our ETA for Cape Town is New Year's Day.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Position at 1400Z: 52 52S, 57 17W. King George 552 nm away. Currently sailing with storms main, stays'l and reefed jib. Winds westerly, 25 to 30 kts. We experienced heavy weather during the night, with sustained wind to 60 kts. We furled the jib and tied two reefs in the main. Weather is much worse than forecast, but that's the Southern Ocean for you. We are all bearing up, but nobody is hungry!
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona left Port Stanley at 10:30 pm, local time (13:30 GMT) on Wednesday, Nov 27th. Wind westerly, 25 kt; forecast to increase to gale-force by Thursday. Our destination is King George Island in the South Shetlands; ETA Tuesday, distance 621 nm.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Here are some of crew member, David's, videos, along with some of my low-quality ones. Light winds and calm waters.
Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--We have been busy for several days, getting the
boat ready for the Antarctic leg. We swapped the 45-lb anchor
for a 65-lb fisherman type; this type is superior when anchoring
over kelp. We mounted aluminum panels over the large, main cabin
windows, for protection against large breaking waves. We made
a temporary wooden cover the aft hatch. The rubrail was repaired
and several leaks stopped by new caulking--we hope. Numerous
small electrical and mechanical problems were also dealt with.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona is tied-up in a cozy corner of the floating dock at Port Stanley. Weather not bad; we are dealing with maintenance chores and catching-up on e-mail. Pic shows the current crew at Punta del Este, before leaving for the Falklands. L to R : Eric, David, Bob, Simon.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona tied-up at FIPASS (Falkland's floating dock) on Sunday afternoon; we're ten days from Uruguay, about 1100 nm. We made the mandatory walk to the Globe Tavern, but no pretty barmaids--clearly Port Stanley is going down hill! Weather not bad: slight mist, with temperatures in the 40s-Fahrenheit.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Today, we encountered some 30-knot winds as forecast, but they did not last long. We should be in Port Stanley by lunchtime Sunday. It will be exciting to be there--it is the jumping-off point for the Antarctic leg. The trip from Punta del Este has been a good shakedown for the crew. We will all share watch-keeping and galley chores during the Antarctic trip, but the following special assignments have been adopted: Eric: Captain and Navigator; David: Satellite Communications and Computer Data Acquisition; Simon: Sailing Master; Bob: Ship's Doctor. All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Friday was a nice day of sailing;winds 20 to 25 knots. We left the reef in the mainsail after the last storm; we did manage to avoid the worst weather, which developed to our north. Yet, the forecast is calling for gale-force winds near the Falklands, so we have to see what tomorrow brings. We have about 200 nm to go to Port Stanley and if not delayed too much, we should arrive on Sunday morning. All well on board; chicken curry for supper.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Quite a nice day; by mid-afternoon, the wind veered and we set the jib wing. Since then, the wind has been a little flukey, with frequent corrections to "Victor the Vane" needed. The forecast predicts fairly heavy weather tomorrow night, so we are hurrying south, to try to get the worst of it behind us. We will see! Port Stanley is 297 nm ahead. All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--The gale-force winds diminished after lunchtime; now we are dealing with light winds on the nose. During the height of the heavy weather, the profusion of birds swooping around the boat was amazing. I think they enjoyed soaring on the draft from the sails. At least six kinds of birds participated in the aerial display, but the the albatrosses were the "star turn." We are all well; spaghetti for dinner. David says YBB. We are about 386 nm from Port Stanley; given an improvement in the current wind, we should arrive Sunday.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Today, the wind started to pick-up at lunchtime, and by Happy Hour, it was blowing a full-gale, with gusts to 47 knots. First, we reefed, then furled the jib; followed by tying the first reef in the mainsail. Fiona is riding out the bad weather nicely. All on board are well and enjoyed a hearty supper of chicken casserole over rice. Port Stanley lies 468 nm ahead.
Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--We are sailing with a light SW wind, but most of
the day has been calm. We saw our first albatross, more or less on schedule. We passed three, large
orange buoys, lashed together with a net. We weren't sure if
they were tethered, but the water here is 5000 meters-deep, so
they had probably broken free and were drifting. For a couple
of days, we have been bucking a north-setting current 1 to 1
1/2 knots. Port Stanley is 593 nm ahead. All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona has now crossed the fortieth parallel; our position is 40 17 S, 55 36 W. There are lots of painted petrels flying around the boat, however, we haven't spotted an albatross yet. The weather is overcast, with light rain--the wind comes and goes. The air temperature is 55 F at lunchtime Today, we finished watching the Shackleton video at Happy Hour. Pt Stanley is 689 nm ahead. All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--A wind finally arrived Saturday morning; during the day it built-up to 20 knots, with gusts to 25 kt. We are sailing close hauled, port tack. The wind is forecast to continue at least to Sunday. Pt Stanley 795 nm ahead. All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Since we left Punta del Este, we have not seen a breath of wind. It has been mostly overcast; sometimes a light rain. We are chugging slowly over an oily sea. Tonight at Happy Hour, we watched a some more of Kenneth Branaugh playing Ernest Shackleton. We are now about 885 nm from Port Stanley. All well on board.
The photographs for the First Newsletter for the perilous Antarctic Circumnavigation journey have been posted here.
From Capt. Forsyth, at Sea--Fiona left the marina at Punta del Este on Thursday afternoon, November 7. The marina folks wanted to overhaul the mooring we were tied to,so rather than move, we just left a little early. Our destination is Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, a distance of about 1,000 nm. Our ETA is 15 November. All well on board.
From Capt. Forsyth, in the US--Friday I went for supper with some friends to a Chinese restaurant, this is what was in my fortune cookie, no kidding: "A new voyage will fill your life with untold memories."
Captain Forsyth's First Newsletter for the perilous Antarctic Circumnavigation journey has been posted here.
An ambitious cruise is planned for the next year--a circumnavigation in a distance only slightly longer than the earth's circumference. To do this, Fiona will sail to the Antarctic and head west, keeping as close as possible to the coast. After crossing the Drake Passage from the Falkland Islands to the Antarctic Peninsula we will head for 64 degrees south, 46 degrees east (designated waypoint 10). From there the boat will head NNW to Cape Town. The distance from Port Lockroy on the Peninsula to Cape Town is about 7500 nautical miles, which will be sailed non-stop. The total distance, Long Island to Long Island, is about 25,500 nautical miles. It will be essential to stick to the schedule to take advantage of the short Antarctic summer. Once leaving South America there will be few opportunities to replenish water, food and fuel. The tentative schedule is shown below.