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93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

Spirit of Hungary – Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman skipper’s log 19-20 Marc – we hit something – more than halfway up the coast of Argentina

“We were very lucky just one hour ago. Of course, hitting something in a way that doesn’t cause major damage in the boat, is also considered luck for us. I was sitting outside under the roof — there is almost always something to be adjusted —, when suddenly the boat dropped to 5 knots speed from 13, and I banged my head into the bubble with the momentum.

NANDOR FA skipper BWR videoconference  – 20March – audio version available soon here.

20 March And here we are with a very fresh, beautiful SOH South-Atlantic sunrise from the SOH skippers.

Spirit of Hungary beautiful South-Atlantic sunrise ©spiritHu_DSC_1018-1

Spirit of Hungary beautiful South-Atlantic sunrise ©spiritHu_DSC_1018-1

19 March Nandor Fa skipper’s log

“I immediately knew we hit something, I just didn’t know what, and with what. I jumped to the back to see the rudders, fortunately there was no problem there. I picked up the hydro not to have it damaged, then I started to pull up the daggerboard. It came without problem, but we were still standing in one place. I call for C to help, we have some shunt to do again. By the time he got dressed, I had rolled up the stay.

We barely could pick up enough speed to luff up the boat. Then it finally did, and we stopped completely within seconds. We were drifting peacefully for 10 seconds, when I saw a remorseless huge package of net. Not just any type of ragged shapeless whatever, but a symmetric rectangular, brick-shaped, cushiony something that was about 1,5 x 3 m, made of sky blue inch-thick rope. It was almost full of shells already, so it wasn’t lost yesterday. If it had not hit the keel, one of the rudders would have been the victim, and could have taken the hydro too. Something, maybe not now, but hit the daggerboard too, because its back edge is a little bit damaged.”

19 03 19 10 UTC 44° 31,8′ S, 051° 07,6′ W,

Conrad Colman co-skipper’s log:

Position 44 Degrees 46 South 051 Degrees 28 West Sea Water Temp: 17.0 Degrees C

We are solidly into the “Roaring Forties” and it feels like a holiday. On our way down the Atlantic we tingled with anticipation at this latitude, ready to face the southern seas, the strong westerlies and the encounter the soaring Albatross again. On the way back up this all seems old hat. We still have our lonely winged companions but they will soon turn back to the southern rollers, we still have 35 knots of wind but being sprayed in the face with water at 17 degrees feels warm and cuddly after the tonnes of numbing cold that were dumped on top of us for weeks on end. Indeed, its incredible how fast we have moved from the freezing south to the more temperate climes.

We are more than halfway up the coast of Argentina and I can imagine gouchos (Spell check please) on horse back, parading their cattle back and forth on the pampas. A different kind of neighborhood after weeks of Atlantic penguins over our right shoulders! Making it futher north means there’s a different kind of energy in the atmosphere. Less of the brutal overwhelming elemental force… now its more shifty, fickle and electric! Last night I was given the light show of a lifetime as fork lightning burned for hours, lighting up the clouds from one horizon to the other. Strangely there were few, if any, rolls of thunder and I felt like I was watching an action movie on mute. I saw the flashes but didn’t hear the bangs.

I lay in the cockpit and checked the trim of the sails when the sky turned to day, long series of bolts burning together to make flashes last for more than a second. With several centers active at the same time, the sails were alternately brilliant white or silhouetted black against a flash from behind. I got to “enjoy” each flash several times over too because they burned into my retinas and I could see sharp details like the Harken logo on the winch when I closed my eyes.

Maybe I’ll do something more mundane tomorrow, just to mix things up. I’ll go to the post office!

Spirit of Hungary IMOCA 60 BWR 2014-15 South Atlantic back to Barcelona SpiritHu©onboard photo_march18 C.Colman co-skipper _GOPR1149

Spirit of Hungary IMOCA 60 BWR 2014-15 South Atlantic back to Barcelona SpiritHu©onboard photo_march18 C.Colman co-skipper _GOPR1149

FR. Carnet de bord du 20 mars Position: 44° 46′ Sud et 051° 28′ Ouest Température de l’eau: 17°C

On est en plein dans les 40èmes rugissants et on a l’impression d’être en vacances! Pendant notre descente de l’Atlantique, il y a quelques semaines, on avait des fourmis dans les jambes à l’idée des mers du sud, des vents d’ouest et des rencontres avec les albatros. Et maintenant que nous sommes en train de remonter, tout cela nous semble bien vieux! Nous avons encore nos camarades solitaires mais ils ne vont pas tarder à retourner vers le Sud, nous avons toujours 35 nœuds de vent mais les cascades d’eau qui s’abattent sur le bateau nous paraissent bien agréable avec les 17°C de la mer après nos aventures des dernières semaines. C’est fou à quelle vitesse nous sommes passé du froid glacial à des climats plus modérés!

On est à plus de la moitié de la côte Argentine et je m’imagine les gauchos à cheval dans la pampa avec leurs troupeaux. Ça change des dernières semaines avec nos voisins les pingouins   La remontée vers le nord rime aussi avec un changement dans l’atmosphère que nous ressentons à bord: la force brute des éléments laisse la place à une météo changeante, capricieuse, électrique même! La nuit dernière j’ai eu un spectacle pyrotechnique parfait avec des éclairs dans tous les sens pendant des heures embrasant les nuages un à un. C’est étrange car j’ai très peu entendu le tonnerre alors ça me donnait l’impression de regarder un film d’action sans le son! Je voyais les flashs mais n’entendait pas le bruit qui devait aller avec.

Je suis resté dans le cockpit à regarder ce spectacle jusqu’à l’aube tout en réglant les voiles. Avec les éclairs de plusieurs fronts en même temps, les flashs duraient plus d’une seconde et les voiles passaient de blanc à noir selon l’endroit d’où venait la lumière. J’étais tellement ébloui que je pouvais voir des détails comme le logo “Harken” sur les winchs même quand je fermais les yeux!

Bon demain, je vais faire quelque chose de plus mondain, je vais aller à la poste!