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93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

Spirit of Hungary heading for the legendary Cape Horn – Nandor’s fourth , Conrad’s second rounding expected 16th March – audio and log

at 23h UTC Spirit of Hungary is 60 miles away from Cape Horn,  Speed 11 kts, ETA 4h-8h UTC

Message of Nandor Fa:  “Greetings from the drear south! We’ve had a bouncy ride the whole night, but we keep the rythm. 30 knots northerly wind has arrived, which is more or less what the forecast said. We are still sailing in these conditions, although it has slightly turned behind us and decreased a few knots. The Pacific says goodbye to us the way it has treated us the whole time – we have not seen its nicest face, although we progressed well.
Now, at 19 00 UTC we still have 110 miles to go, we will pass the line at around 02 00. It will be dark here that time, we rely only on that tiny moon that’s left, which will either show or not. The gale is right on our track, we can’t relax. To be specific, we are now sailing with its forewind, the hardest part is expected at the cape tomorrow at noon. We are all right, we just changed, C goes to sleep, it’s my watch now. I’ll cook something, because I’m hungry, plus it kills some time.”

SPIRITHU Southern Ocean rainbow_DSC00132

SPIRITHU Southern Ocean rainbow_DSC00132

Conrad Colman Ship’s log march 14th from the Spirit of Hungary

Position 55 Degrees 04 South 081 Degrees41 West
Countdown: less than 400 miles to Cape Horn

Well, today is certainly impressive… Raw… Beautiful… Furious. It is hard to find a word to sum up our circumstances at the moment. We are brushing the top of probably our last real Southern Ocean depression and for the past 18 hours have had wind of 40 knots, gusting 45 to 50. The swells, big for weeks now have grown into mountainous seas. Easily 8 to 10 meters in height with lofty cornices blown higher by the storm force gusts, they tower over us and curl to break noisily in a thundering crash.

Here, speed is our friend because as the waves pull up the stern we slide away from the breakers like a lithe dancer, but a dancer fighting for its life. Spirit is tired and creaks and groans and burries its bow in the trough between the waves. After all the sail patches stuck, stitches sewn, blood spilled, sweat dripped and sleep missed while we have been down in the cold southern latitudes it will be a relief to turn the corner and make it back into the relative safety of the Atlantic. Instead of endless seas and gliding birds we will again be surrounded by tankers and cargo ships, flying fish and ports of call.

Despite all of that, I will be sad to leave these frigid unfriendly waters. Its empowering to pass point Nemo and shout out to the world, knowing that there no one and nothing to echo back. In our era it is truly rare to be totally self reliant and responsible for whatever circumstance that may arise. There’s that side and also the beauty of Nature in the raw. We do everything we can to pluck out the weeds, pave over the dirt and cordon off the currents so it’s satisfying just to watch the wind blow over an ocean that is free to surge freely for tens of thousands of unimpeded miles, only watched over by the lonely albatross.

Then, there are the cold wet socks and the fact I haven’t showered for weeks. Lets get out of here! But, I’ll be back…..

Position: 55° 04’ Sud et 81° 41’ Ouest
Compte à rebours: moins de 400 milles jusqu’au Cap Horn

Notre journée était vraiment impressionnante pour beaucoup de raisons… du naturel .. une beauté sauvage… un côté furieux. C’est dur de trouver un mot pour décrire l’atmosphère actuelle. Nous avons passé les dernières 18h à surfer à l’arrière de ce qui est, probablement, notre dernière grosse dépression dans les mers du sud et le vent a soufflé à 40 nœuds constamment avec des rafales à 45, 50 nœuds. La houle qui nous paraissait déjà impressionnante ressemble à des montagne aujourd’hui. Les vagues font 8 à 10 mètres et s’abattent sur nous avec force, dans un bruit assourdissant.

La vitesse est notre amie car les vagues soulèvent l’arrière du bateau et nous propulsent loin des brisants comme un petit pantin, un pantin qui se battrait pour rester en vie! Spirit of Hungary est un peu fatigué de ces conditions et le bateau grince, craque et s’enfonce dans la vague suivante inlassablement. Après les réparations en tous genres, le sang, la sueur, les heures passées sans dormir dans ces latitudes lointaines, ça va être un vrai soulagement de mettre le clignotant à gauche et de retrouver la relative «tranquillité» de l’Atlantique. Après la mer à perte de vue, les albatros qui planent autour du bateau, nous allons de nouveau être entouré de pétroliers, cargos, poissons volants…

Malgré tout, je serais triste de quitter ces eaux peu hospitalières. C’est génial de passer le point némo, de pouvoir hurler en sachant que l’on aura pas d’écho… il est rare à notre époque de se trouver à des endroits où l’on ne peut compter que sur soi-même, quoi qu’il arrive. Il y a ce côté et la beauté de la nature à l’état pur. De nos jours, on arrache les mauvaises herbes, on goudronne les chemins, on détourne les rivières et je trouve ça tellement agréable de pouvoir regarder le vent souffler sur un océan sans aucun obstacle sur des milliers de milles avec seulement des albatros solitaires comme témoins.

Bon il y a aussi les chaussettes froides et mouillées, le fait que je ne me suis pas douché depuis des semaines…. aller on part d’ici! Mais je reviendrais, c’est certain…

Audio: Spirit of HUNGARY skipper NANDOR FA interview by the BWR videoconference /audio version in English. riporter: Andi Robertson

Conrad Colman’s audio riports recorded by BWR  – at the Live coverage.


“The boat surfs from time to time and then we plummet hard every time, which burdens the suspension significantly. Now we are a little bit slower but hopefully we can progress safely. Now I’ll have some breakfast, I deserve it.
Most of the times, we have Westerly winds. We try to choose our routing so that we don’t get into enormous gales, and nor into too light conditions in the following two days before Horn.
After the gybe yesterday night we were running within steadily formed big seas, so the night went fairly simply, we progressed well, with just a little bit of pounding and rumbling.
At the moment we are sailing to North-East on port tack and sometime in the afternoon or in the evening we’ll gybe back towards a South-Easterly direction, which will bring us closer to the target, we just need to have the right longitude.
I have to eat something more because my whole body is freezing. I’m wearing the maximum amount of clothes possible, in which I’m still capable to move. I can only trust my inner heating system.
The water is 7°C, the air is even colder than that. In the morning I changed a bandage on the boom, it took only 10 minutes but my hand were frozen as if I had been playing snowball without gloves at home with the girls.
On 13th March at 17 00 UTC our position is: 54° 00,1′ S, 089° 20,5′ W,
24° left until Horn.”

Southern Ocean fotocollection of nandor Fa including his famous Vendée Globe Fuji Award picture  (photos all rights reserved©Nandor Fa collection