Hard going for Sir Robin Knox-Johnston struggling in light airs with no wind instruments 23/12/96

Velux 5 Oceans Race aboard Saga Insurance

Log date Saturday 23 December 2006
Position Latitude 40 14 South Longitude 104 26 East
Miles To Fremantle (at 0100 GMT 24.12.06) 637 nm
Distance In 24 Hours 121.4
Average Speed In 24 Hours 5.06 knots

Been up most of the night trying to keep Saga Insurance moving in very little wind. Not easy without instruments, but I have bits of wool here and there in the rigging which give some indication. Anyway, we made some progress but the price is that I am now tired. Against that, the wind has come in and steadied slightly from the north-east. It is the worst possible direction, but it’s some wind.

For those who like the mysteries of the weather, take a look at what is coming up between our position and Fremantle during the next five days. It will make the task of getting to Fremantle more difficult.

There’s the old saying “If I wanted to go there I would not have started from here” and that’s true. I only get five days forecasts and had I had forecasts further ahead and known the weather was going to do this I think I would have pressed on to the east the last few days and then turned north, but its too late now. We are where we are.

I know I said I hoped to get in by the 27th but that now has to be in doubt. The weather turns more promising from the west after the 27th but that just benefits the boats behind who will be speeding in with favorable winds over the next five days whilst I am zig-zagging with these easterlies and variables.

So on that very depressing note that’s today’s diary.