If all goes to plan, round the world adventurer Adrian Flanagan, should set sail this morning

One week into his circumnavigation Adrian Flanagan was forced to return to the mainland to seek shelter from a stream of depressions see news story here. He’s now ready for the off and hopes to set sail this morning. Here’s his latest report from onboard Barrabas.

After leaving Hamble on 28 October and a good sail in southerly winds to Land’s End, I was met with a series of vicious depressions kicking up storm force winds, predominantly from the south-west. Barrabas does not perform particularly well going into wind and I was unable to make any meaningful southerly progress.

For the first week I managed only two hours sleep, nursing the boat through the storms. I finally decided to stop bashing into the brick wall and sought sanctuary in the Helford River, dropping anchor on Friday evening. The plan was to wait for a more favourable weather window and use the time in-between to sort the boat out and effect repairs to the storm damage. I also wanted to catch up on some sleep, but work seems to expand to fill the time available, so I am still a bit sleep deprived.

During the first week sea water had found its way into my tanks through the air vents fouling all 400 litres of drinking water. On top of fixing that problem, water damaged had shorted out the solar panel array which meant rewiring. A new foresail furling line, foresail sheets and boom breaker lines had to be rigged. The self-steering and come out of alignment and the storm battering had created a number of leaks primarily through the windows which needed re-sealing. The Eberspacher heating system which is brand-new had also mysteriously stopped working leaving me unable to dry out the boat or myself. Half a day’s work stripping the system revealed the problem – an errant screw in the fuel control valve which had been there since installation but which must have orientated itself to block the fuel flow.

During the worst of the storms, with the bow pounding, 210 kilos of fuel stowed in the forward compartment had literally smashed its way out of the restraints. This too had to be fixed and stores repositioned around the boat to created new space.

One good thing is that I also wired in an amplifier into which I can connect my Creative Zen MP3 players, so now I have decent, loud music!

The weather window has arrived, bringing north-westerly winds which should get me towards Cape Finisterre on Spain’s north-western corner. I am anxious to be clear of Biscay with its notorious seaways.