A couple of days ago the TRANSGLOBE fleet was around 1800 miles from Cape Town and half way to their 3,270nm leg’s finish line in Cape Town.
Also, I am delighted to say that Adventure has finally managed to post a tony wee piece of news (the first since leaving Rio) and there’s a whole lot more from Challenger! I love to include the Shout outs because they too lend a very personal flavour to the individual feelings and thoughts of those on board these 67ft steel-hulled yachts. Seems there are a few bruises around on this leg!
Adventure 10th September
Note: Adventure has technical issues with its Iridium Sat phone, so blogs are few and far between – JSASTC IT Dept.
Passed 60nm south of Tristan de Cunha, the world’s most remote but habited island, too far to pop in for a cup of tea ! Have now passed the halfway mark and a sweep stake for our arrival in Cape Town entered earliest guess is next Friday morning and latest next Saturday evening. It is now left to the wind and ability of the helmsman to decide the outcome.
Barra sends his love to anyone that has the misfortune to know him.
Challenger 10th September
After 8 days at sea the crew have settled well into the routine. Those with previous experience have led from the front and developed the skills of those with less sea time. Our five novices have had an extremely steep learning curve, but have stepped up to the mark in all aspects, from helming (not always in a straight line yet, but we are getting there) to sail changes to cooking for 14 in a galley the size of a downstairs loo. We have sailed 1800 nautical miles and are currently about 200 miles north west of Tristan da Cunha. We are over half way but with high pressure developing ahead of us decisions will soon be required as to our best course to gain favourable winds to see us into Cape Town. If you are following the blogs, you will have seen that we are jostling with DISCOVERER (whilst ADVENTURE made a deep move south.) Our proximity has not been by design but we are pleased to report that we sighted their sails at dawn some 7 miles behind us. Today will provide some new challenges for the watches as we try and stay ahead. The weather remains settled, with 20 knots from the North West, clear sky and sunshine. The next decision for the skipper is whether the spinnaker will give us any significant advantage. Morale is high; competition in the galley is fierce as each watch vies to outdo the others with bread making being the latest challenge. We on CHALLENGER remain safe and well under the excellent leadership of the Skipper. And we would seem to be in front. Jerry
Challenger 9th September
At last! During the night red watch, in between perfecting their Dragons’ Den pitch for Atlantic porridge, observed the clouds slowly fading away and the moon appearing. Today dawned calm(ish) and sunny with the wind swinging round to the stern. People found themselves able to stand semi upright, and some brave souls even took steps without clinging onto hand holds. It was a relief to spend a much needed day doing odd jobs, such as clearing out and reorganising the sail locker, fixing broken lights and a spot of light cleaning without being thrown around in our previously washing machine-esq home. Early on it was realised that today was also an ideal drying and washing day (I believe in Hornblower it is known as ‘make and mend’). Subsequently the boat is now flapping merrily with colourful t-shirts and socks attached to every available drying spot. The holiday atmosphere is further enhanced by the Beatles and the Kooks blaring out while we sit in the sun. Everyone seems to be feeling as though it’s actually not all that bad, still I think we are all waiting for the wind to pick up again so we can ‘crack on’!
As an interesting (?) aside, red watch had the most interesting night watch as yet logged so far: we observed two cargo ships passing by, then a couple of dolphins were leaping along about three foot from the boat and finally a white flare was set off just over the horizon to our stern, speculation is still rife as to who by.
Atlantic porridge. Picture Ross and Tim stood fully clad in oilskins and life jacket holding dramatically onto a stove with a large metal handle attached swaying around dramatically and stirring porridge while someone throws buckets of water at them from the sidelines. The whole experience yours for only £902, £900 for the oilys, £2 for the porridge and milk. Duncan Bannatyne would snap it up! Grace
Becci – Nearly half way there, wake me up when September ends!! This is not the holiday people were thinking I was coming on. Can’t wait to shower later and straighten my hair, I wished, the GHD’s are securely stored away in my holdall. Hope everyone back home’s ok, clean and dry, love to you all, Bex x x x x x x x
Grace – Hullo everyone! I have no idea if anyone actually knows this blog exists but if someone does could they please get Em/Claire/Brad/Cozza etc to tell the School of CeG that I’m missing freshers’ week as I am unfortunately in the middle of the Atlantic. I’ll grovel when I get back; I mean how important can a day on how to write dissertations actually be?? Lots of lovexxx
Ross – Hello Nic, Mum, Phil, Hayley, Ryan, Nan, Liz, Roy and whoever else is following this. The beard is coming on nicely. Apart from a few bumps and bruises from being smashed around the boat like a rag doll I’m doing fine. Hope all is well at Runnymede, spider-check is being completed daily and Petesie is keeping you company. I’ll be expecting a tankard of grog on my return. Aaarrggh for now….Captain Gingerbeard x
Jerry: Hi Lisa, Guy & Gem, and of course Ffion. All is well and we are making good progress. Looking forward to some home comforts though! Love you all. To my brothers and sister, keep paying those taxes – I promise you they are well spent!! To the nephews and nieces, having a great adventure out here miles from anywhere an we still see ships! A whale, dolphins and lots of seabirds, including albatross, have been seen too. If there is anyone else reading these blogs who know me – Hi! 1800 miles to Cape Town.
Rob – Hello Babes. All better after my 4 day yakking session. Can’t wait to see you in CT (nudge, nudge). For Jimbo – the Icebreaker thermals are the bomb mate: thoroughly tried and tested. To everyone else – Ahoy!
Jon – Hello Esme Toby and Judith. Hope you are all well and not too stressed with the kitchen. We are all fine on the boat. We have seen whales and albatross following the boat. We even had a couple of dolphins following us last night. We are nearly half way. Looking forward to seeing you soon luv Dad the Skipper.
Challenger 8th September
WANTED: Semi-intelligent ocean wildlife to compete in a quiz with HMSTC Challenger – as expected the RAF failed to provide adequate opposition. Scores on the doors – Challenger 17/20, Discovery 13/20.
The wind and swell is now getting heavy enough to ensure everyone is stumbling around like the proverbial student in freshers’ week. Every task now takes that little bit longer and carries increased risk of bruising, spillage and embarrassment (when was the last time your loo was at 45°?). Still, White Watch soldier on, and are the official hardened veterans of the foredeck according to the ‘how many lifejackets inflated’ index. Blue watch suffered a major setback to an otherwise strong reputation when cheese on toast was not delivered as promised, words have been said, RMP called.We have a couple of albatross cruising along with us now, welcome company in a disappointingly empty ocean.
A short section to reassure the mothers out there that nutrition is in hand:
5 a day may be out, but when fresh mango is served on deck life ain’t bad. With regards to strong healthy bones, the onboard cow Gloria (read 300 cartons of UHT milk) is providing endless supplies, and the kilo of sweaty cheese per person per day is sating even the most sophisticated palettes. Meanwhile, in the Officer’s Mess the canapés have become very samey, and the silverware is in need of a polish [Red Watch to Action ASAP].Chris
Dave – Hi Sera, thinking of you. The absurdity of making curry in the middle of the Atlantic for 14 people in heavy seas reinforces my view on cooking – always eat out! Miss you and see you soon.x. Stevie Byrne – Many congratulations to you and Martina. Gutted we couldn’t make it although my liver is better for it.
Rob – Ahoy All. Just about got my head out of the Heads now. I’ve been champ Yak Boy for the past few days. All is good and I think we might get to SA earlier than expected. Fingers crossed. Sara – get looking for a lastminute to Cape Town. Love to all.xxx
Chris –Love as always to folks and family. Nina – missing you loads, looking forward to hearing your voice in just over a week. Xxx
Becci – Hello to all at number 2, missing the warm Jacuzzi right now, will be in much need of one on my return home. Nixta hope all is well, that feeling of “I don’t like Mondays” is merging into all days at the minute. Little man its nearly time for your return to Uni so study hard and drink harder, just as I taught you! Roll on the next Villa game, we best of beat the Blues! Love you all the world, Reebox x x x x x x x
Mike H – Hi Terry & Betty = hope your trip goes well, only a few days until the off. Looking forward to seeing you when I get back. Ken, shame I won’t see you this time. Hopefully next time.
Paul – Hi to Anita and Luke just a quick note to let you guys know I’m still breathing, although slightly bruised would be an under statement, I have bruises in places where one wouldn’t think possible. Love to you both, will ring as soon as we hit Cape Town.
Mike P – John & Lisa H, thanks for dinner the night before we left. Was great to see you both. Covered in bruises and getting tired out by all the sea air. As ever love to the family, Vanessa and the ‘lobster’ gang. M x
This is me again! I have nothing to offer up on behalf of Disco (Discoverer) except this image of Skipper Becky Walford, captured by Nick Gill (from TRANSGLOBE’s clothing partner, Gill) during the SOR (Services Offshore Regatta).