Nick Moloney, the lone Aussie aboard a boat of Frenchmen, describes life of board Orange, the Jules Verne Challenge catamaran as she heads south
Nick Moloney, the lone Aussie aboard a boat of Frenchmen, describes life of board Orange, the Jules Verne Challenge catamaran as she heads south.
‘During the early part of last evening (Sunday) we crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin WA. We are now officially under OZ. Its great to see it on the chart.
‘It’s now sunrise here and we have had an amazing night sailing with 25 knots of boatspeed. Clearish skies, long drawn out waves and the greatest display of Aurora Australis I have ever seen. We are now deep south, in the 50s and south of the Antarctic Convergence Zone. Water temperature is below five degrees so we are expecting ice at some stage. It was always the plan to stay away from ice for as long as possible I don’t want the lads that have not seen these amazing frozen islands to go home without a clear image in their memory.
‘Wind instruments have gone again – its a bit tough in the dark relying on the luff of the storm spinnaker.
‘Had a ‘monty two nights ago when the wind lifted 40 degrees and we were suddenly reaching hard into a seaway – it was a war zone. Explosions of water everywhere and everyone being thrown around on the trampoline. You know when you are sieving flour or dirt and the big pieces bounce around on the mesh, that’s sort of what it gets like. It happened so quickly that not many had their harnesses on. It was pretty full on for a period until we took another reef and gybed.
‘The repair to crack in back beam is finished so we will continue to monitor. Not surprising to see the damage, the water hits like a sledge hammer and we have taken a few waves over the past nine days.
‘It’s very cold as you can imagine but it feels like we have been making better progress over the past 24 hours. Will enjoy watching Australia and NZ pass by, then we can focus on Cape Horn. I think most onboard are enjoying the south so far which is a little strange. I seem to be setting a trend in my yellow suit [my oilskins are torn, so I’m now in Survival Suit] as more appear every watch.
‘Being so close to home obviously makes you think a lot about friends and family. My mum will now be living on the floor in the study, getting up in the middle of the night to log on to the net and check our progress.
‘I have a warm sleeping bag waiting for me – aaaaahhhhhhh three hours of bliss.
‘Last off watch we celebrated Seb’s [Seb Josse] birthday with balloons and throughout the night there were continual bangs as people stood on them in the dark!’
Position: 50°25′ S / 121°10′ E
Speed 24h : 18.81
Distance since departure : 1,2843.28 miles
Distance 24h : 451.46 miles
COMPARISON TO SPORT ELEC IN 1997 Position : 52°02’S / 106°37′ E
Speed 24h : 17
Distance since departure : 1,0501 miles
Distance 24h : 408.80 miles