Andy Forbes, skipper aboard Global Challenge yacht BG Spirit sent the following log from deep in the Southern Ocean

Andy Forbes, skipper aboard Global Challenge yacht BG Spirit sent the following log from deep in the Southern Ocean.

Logged on 15 December 04 at a position of 54 13 south 108 13 west.

“Well at last the time has come for some desperately needed rest. The wind is howling outside and the boat spears from one wave to the next. I have been thrown from the helm twice and the water over the deck is like that of Niagara falls. The rig shakes, the crashing relentless, the feeling of weightlessness and then the sudden thud as your body takes the impact of landing.

“My knees ache and my eyes are red with salt. My arms feel like lead and I just don’t seem to be able to eat or drink enough of what my body craves. I am more tired than I have ever been yet seem to be buzzing with adrenalin. I know I should sleep yet lie awake listening to every noise, shake and shudder the boat makes. I hear the voices on deck – “Big wave” “Hang On” “Water” ” That’s the biggest yet” “Do they come any bigger” ” Ask Andy” – should I respond. The answer is no.

“I tell myself the crew are fine and they will cope with whatever is thrown their way. They are strong and well capable of handling our current situation. Bash again – I am trying to relax but can’t. The winches grind and the sails take the strain. Our fluorescent orange storm sails cut a fine contrast to the steep grey seas and dark grey sky.

“We are being pounded by a passing depression and look set for at least another eight hours yet. The banter continues amid the ever increasing number of questions about the weather. Some are nerves – others like those children’s favourites “Are we there yet?” “How long will this last?” “What is the red colour on the navigation weather screen?” – All are met with the reassuring smile and the nerves seem to disappear.

“I am happy and very content with my current situation. I know all at home are watching with baited breath as they read the news from other boats. We are all safe and in the good hands of each other. We came prepared and ready to do battle. Soon the weather will pass the sun will shine and the stars will glow once more. The smiles will re-appear and the race will go on.

Wellington here we come.

Please let me sleep!”