Iceberg watch on LG FLATRON, reports skipper Conrad Humphreys

Another hard night. The wind is blowing 40-45 knots and it is pitch black. In fact, it’s so dark you cannot see your hand in front of your face. Iceberg sightings have added a little tension to tonight’s excitement, so we have one crewmember watching the radar and another on deck looking ahead. The chances of seeing anything are very remote, but I always like to be proactive in these pressure situations.

Port watch are on at the moment, driving the boat under triple reef, storm staysil and No 3 yankee. We are currently at 60° apparent wind angle and steaming along at 11knots. Nice to be making our course. The Kerguelen Islands are now just under 1,200 miles away to the north-west. A passing gate where the fleet are sure to converge is situated at 47°N and then we head west along the Great Circle to Cape Town, a mere 2,800 miles further on!

I’ve just polled a weatherfax showing the sea surface isotherms and, interestingly, at 70°E there is a large body of cold water pushing northwards towards the Kerguelens. I imagine we’ll be in for a few iceberg sightings off these infamous French islands.

The breeze is looking a little lighter over the next day or two, which will allow us a little respite from the cold and a chance to mend some bodies. Everyone is nursing a few aches and bruises, having been washed down the deck on a number of occasions. The wave that dented our Sat B dome also bent the pushpit and pulled one of the legs away from the deck. Luckily, Annie wasn’t hurt as she was thrown into the dome, splitting it down the middle.

Another wave has just broken over the boat, and I can hear some laughter. I hear Lizzie was washed down the deck, finishing up between Dickon’s legs. I guess she’ll settle for that as a landing spot.