Vendée Globe  
93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

Spirit of Hungary Conrad’s Ship’s bumpy log received on march 22nd, ouch! – with Nandor’s riport

“It’s like being on a rodeo horse or on a rollercoaster, it’s just intense. It requires 100% concentration, not only helming the boat but when you move around. The movement is so violent. There are no wave pattern at the moment, they are quite short and close together making the ride uncomfortable”

Nandor’s Log 22 March in the evening

“Unfortunately C is out of the game for a little while, perhaps for only a few days, because though his head is all right, his shoulder is injured and he can’t work with it. He’s just an observer and advisor now. In the following eight hours we stay on this tack, but afterwards we will have to jibe and go north-east. Later, when the wind turns further, this tack will bring us upwards if we’re lucky, we can get closer to the south-easterly trade winds.

The ocean is 20,4°C, it’s nice warm and the sun is almost shining too. I still have to wear the dry-suit, but I feel warm in it.

Both of my big toes has suffered wearing the boots all the time, especially the left one. It’s swollen and it hurts. Since we don’t have much space to walk here, I sometimes need to walk in one place just to do some training on my legs. I keep massaging my toes, that helps a little bit. It will be all right, I’m already wearing shoes mostly, so it’s getting better.

We haven’t used the gennaker for weeks. I started to dig from metre to metre to find it and pull it to the deck. It’s still full of water since the last time we used it. When I was ready, I rolled up the solent and hoisted the gennaker – by that time, C has showed up too but he can’t help. His left shoulder was not tied and he was holding it with his right, I could see he was suffering from both the fact that he can’t help me and that it hurts.
There’s so much power in the new sail, the speed picks up quickly. It’s fantastic, we enjoy it very much, sailing with an average of 15 knots and that we are standing there in just a T-shirt. In addition, for the first time after two months I have pushed away the cover and the world has opened.
We are running to north-east in sunshine, in the right direction, with a good speed. There are a few clouds which affect the wind, but all in all we are stealing miles in ideal conditions.”

Conrad’s Log 22March

“It’s like being on a rodeo horse or on a rollercoaster, it’s just intense. It requires 100% concentration, not only helming the boat but when you move around. The movement is so violent. There are no wave pattern at the moment, they are quite short and close together making the ride uncomfortable”   These words are not mine, coming instead from one of the SCA women in the Volvo Ocean Race, but it perfectly described our afternoon yesterday. As expected the wind built from the NW with the approach of the concentrated depression that has been catching us up these last few days. Finally the cold front broke over with with 40 knot gusts and a deluge of rain that flattened the seas and turned the crests a smokey white.

There is always an abrupt change in the wind direction following a cold front and the new wind from the SW allowed us to ease the sheets and make tracks to the north on a broad reach. However, as in the quote above, the boat slammed horribly in the confused waves left by the intersection of the new wind with the older established wave pattern. We were trying to avoid the boat from taking a beating and instead I took one myself. Coming in fromt the cockpit a particularly large slam wrenched away my slippery hand hold and I pitched head first into the bilge.

I landed on my left shoulder and my head leaving the former dislocated and a large egg on my forehead. I screamed for Nandor who rushed from his bunk to help me sit up, only for my head to turn and I was forced to lay back in confused agony. Having previously dislodged my right shoulder and had it surgically repared in 2012, I only hope that I can avoid that fate again with my new injury. I have good range of moment but significant pain and a significant sense of weakness in the joint. Thankfully we have pretty clement conditions lined up for the next few days but Nandor will have to do the maneuvers solo as I am only capable of easing sheets, not winding the winches for now. It will be good training for his Vendee Globe but here’s hoping for a speedy recovery on my end. I’m not happy to be consigned to the role of balast, and in pain to boot!”

22 March evening – Message from Conrad sent to the SOH shore team to Hungary

“Starting to feel better but I still need to be very careful with my shoulder. Nandor is enjoying the solo training however! I’m afraid he’ll drop me off in Brazil and continue by himself! All the best, C”

Üzenet Conrad-tól az SOH Team-nek smile hangulatjel “Kezdem jobban érezni magam, de még mindig nagyon óvatosnak kell lennem a vállammal. Egyébként Nándor élvezi a szólóvitorlázást! Attól tartok, kitesz valahol Brazíliában és egyedül folytatja! Minden jót, C”

FR. Carnet de bord du 22 mars, ouille!

«C’est comme un rodéo ou un grand huit, c’est super intense. Il faut toujours être à 100%, pas seulement quand on barre ou pendant les manœuvres mais quand on se déplace sur le bateau car le mouvement est vraiment violent. Il n’y a pas de rythme régulier des vagues, elles sont assez petites mais avec une fréquence importante et venant de tous les sens, la vie est très inconfortable à bord»

Ce ne sont pas mes mots mais ceux des filles à bord du bateau SCA actuellement engagé dans la Volvo Ocean Race et ça résume bien la situation pour nous aussi. Comme prévu le vent de nord-ouest s’est renforcé à l’approche de la dépression qui nous poursuivait depuis quelques jours. Le front froid est arrivé avec des rafales à 40 nœuds, un déluge de pluie qui a aplati la mer et le paysage s’est transformé.

Il y a toujours un changement de direction soudain après un front froid et le vent du sud-ouest nous a permis de choquer (relâcher un peu) les écoutes et de reprendre un cap vers le nord. Par contre, ce changement nous a laissé dans une mer complètement désordonnée et le bateau s’écrasait sur chaque nouvelle vague. Alors que l’on essayait de mettre le bateau en sécurité c’est moi qui me suis fait mal. Alors que j’allais rentrer dans le bateau, celui ci s’est écrasé avec tellement de violence que j’ai lâché ma prise (qui était glissante) et j’ai plongé tête la première à l’intérieur.

J’ai atterri sur mon épaule gauche et ma tête. Résultat: luxation de l’épaule même si elle s’est remise toute seule et un bel œuf sur le front. J’ai appelé Nandor qui s’est dépêché de sortir de sa bannette pour venir m’aider à me relever mais j’étais un peu KO donc je me suis tout de suite rallongé. Ce type de blessure ne m’est pas étranger, je m’étais déjà luxé l’épaule droite plusieurs fois et me suis fait opéré en 2012 pour éviter ce genre de problème alors j’espère vraiment ne pas avoir à en passer par là. J’arrive encore à bien la bouger mais je sens quand même que c’est plus faible et douloureux au niveau de l’articulation.

Heureusement les conditions s’annoncent plus tranquilles pour les jours à venir mais Nandor va devoir manœuvrer en solo quelques temps car je peux seulement faire les réglages de voile. Ce sera un super entrainement pour son Vendée Globe mais j’espère récupérer vite pour ne pas jouer uniquement le rôle de ballast (réservoirs d’eau sur chaque côté du bateau et à l’arrière pour ajouter du poids contre le vent) et rester dans ma bannette!