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S/V Nereida sails around the world - Day 225: Socrates knockdown just before rounding final Cape

by Jeanne Socrates 16 May 14:33 UTC 16 May 2019
Jeanne Socrates © S/V Nereida

A brief note to let you know that we were knocked down, losing both solar and wind charging items as a result, just before dawn on Wed 15th May local time.

Position: 150ml SW of S end of South Island, New Zealand

Having rounded the SE Cape of Tasmania last week, I was close to rounding Stewart Island's SW Cape - just over a day away - and was sailing SE well, in 45kt WSW winds and 8m seas with minimal staysail, when the knockdown occurred.

Sails, rig, most instruments, autopilot and radio are fine, no injuries, but a lot of wet chaos down below. My bunk and I got a good soaking when the port-side dorade (air vent) just above where I was sitting at the time was also taken away, leaving a hole in the coachroof. Everything on board was thrown around and became very wet - including my bedding and me, so a complete set of vacuum-packed dry clothing was very happily donned today!

The JSD (series drogue) was deployed by default when the two bags containing it were also snatched from their fixings and the line with its cones was clearly pulled out of the bags by the force of the sea. The bridle was fixed in place and attached to the main JSD line with its 124 small cones, so we ended up lying to the drogue (for the third time in the last few weeks) - drifting NNE at about 1.5kt in 8-9m seas and strong winds, gusting to 50kt or more.

MRCC NZ AND Taupo Maritime Radio were both contacted to inform them of the situation - not life-threatening but power becomes an issue since I no longer have a wind steering option and am forced to use the autopilot most of the time now - and that needs power, of course.

Will take some time to clear up the mess but hoping to retrieve the drogue Friday morning, by when conditions will be far lighter, and get under way again.

Plan is to avoid the next imminent strong system heading this way from the SW now by sailing N for a couple of days before turning S again, hoping to round the SW Cape on Stewart Island next week in lighter conditions.

That will be the end of a very long Southern Ocean leg (from before Cape Horn in December) and the beginning of the long final Pacific Ocean northbound leg back to Victoria, B,C., to complete my nonstop solo unassisted sail around the globe - as the oldest person to do so (at age 76 years).

Read full story here

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the S/V Nereida.

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