Fast going for Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on the approach to Cape Horn 13/2/07

Log date Tuesday 13 February 2007
Position Latitude 52° 49.83 S Longitude 105° 33.73 W
Miles To Norfolk, USA 8,287 nm
Distance In 24 Hours 260 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours 10.83

In big winds Saga Insurance continues to travel further each 24 hour sched and at a faster rate than the boats either side of him, but Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has not had time to enjoy this as such as the weather has shown no respite for some days.

It is a particularly exhausting stage of the race, when the Southern Ocean seems endless and the fear of rounding Cape Horn looms. It is tiring on both skipper and boat. This is the longest leg of the Velux 5 Oceans race and Sir Robin still has 1,000 miles to reach the half way mark.

Here’s his latest log?

A busy day onboard Saga Insurance. Gybed at 0100 when we were pushed round to 160 degrees and I could not stand being that far from the rhumb line. The wind backed five hours later so gybed back.

Gybing in these seas, especially without a headboard on the mainsail, is a somewhat nervous occupation. Not sure what the others did or where they are as the EGC system used for broadcasting the positions, and giving met and nav warnings, has not come up with anything for a day.

The wind has gone lighter so I may be affected by the high to the north reported two days ago, anyway steering for Cape Horn 1,400 miles away now. Forty years ago the lack of weather info did not matter so much. I had been in the Southern Ocean for five months and knew what to do in a storm.

Saga Insurance is a very different animal and the worst we have been through downwind is a Force 8. She coped with that but not sure how she would manage in larger and more aggressive seas, so hope none coming.

Trying to keep warm and dry, food is the main answer, just keeping enough calories coming in to keep up strength and warmth, mainly freeze dried at the moment.