Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in the thick of it down south during Leg 2 of the Velux 5 Ocean Race 6/2/07

Log date Tuesday 6 February 2007
Position Lat 49 44S Long 152 34W
Miles To Norfolk, USA 10,083 nm
Distance In 24 Hours 210.2 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours 8.76 knots

Bit of a blow at the moment. A front has gone though and the wind risen to Force 7 from the south-west. So we’re trying to outrun the waves.

I looked astern just now and there was a breaking wave towering above the dome. Saga Insurance outran it but you can see why the helmsmen on square-riggers were ordered not to look behind them when at the wheel, it is a frightening sight. So much raw power. The motion is pretty rocky and subject to bangs from a cross sea.

One feature these Open 60s lack is a WC, there is a bucket. I had just finished using it for a pee when a wave hit and half the contents went on deck inside the cabin. This started a frenzy of cleaning, not just for tidiness but hygiene, as this is where I prepare my food. I’m really cross about that as it is the first time its happened.

Slept in oilies last night and probably tonight as well as if anything goes wrong there will be less damage if it is dealt with quickly. They are damp and a bit clammy at the moment but you don’t get rheumatism from salt water I’m told. Anyway, a check on the whisky quality provides some internal warmth.

I notice according to the position reports that I lost 50 miles on everyone over the past five hours. It is the way that it is measured and not a true indication, they are not going 10 knots faster. I am very slowly reeling in on Longitude on Pakea and increasing it on AGD, but we’re all doing very much the same speeds, which is good as they are both new boats whereas this one is ten years old now. It took only a couple of days for Pakea to get so far ahead using his weather information, distance is so easily lost and so hard to regain.