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93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

Spirit of Hungary skippers’ Log 08th February – Indian ocean

Nandor Fa skipper and Conrad Colman co-skipper’s Log 8th February

N. Fa: 14 00 GMT, our position: 42° 38,9′ S, 048° 25,3′ E. Yesterday the conditions allowed me to stay longer at the helm, so I let C sleep longer. He’s gotten so refreshed, he stayed out there the whole night and let me sleep longer too.

Since the start we’ve been handling changes quite flexibly, we don’t stick with the 4-hours change. We decided to follow the 4-hour timing, but we also wake each other when needed and let each other rest when possible. This is working well for us both physically and mentally. Today the conditions seem much better than before. The wind turned and now we can sail on one tack in the right direction. Since it’s been my watch, it’s turned even further to Northerly and increased to 20 kts. We are going fast. Visible distance: 100 metres. We are looking at the radar the whole day, even if we know there can’t be boats or icebergs in front. When flying blind, it is better this way.

The wind is supposed to be steady, but in reality it varies between 14 and 27 knots, we need to change jibs quite often (J1 or J2). One change takes 10-12 minutes of active sport, we are good at it now. There are enormous forces on everything, sometimes I’m afraid we’d rip off the halyard — which would be a huge problem —, although it has 2,5 tonnes of tensile strength.

Even with all these worries, these conditions are like heaven for us, comparing to last week. We are reaching with 10-16 knots of speed in the right direction. Except for the silhouette of one island, we haven’t seen any land for 4 weeks since Gibraltar. If everything goes well, Cape Horn will be the next rock we would like to see from close.

In the morning we passed some yellow lines on the water, probably some kind of alga. We are approximately 80 SMs from the biggest group of icebergs, here the sea temperature is 10°C, down there it should be 9°C. The last time I was here, the ice-zone was more South, where the sea temperature was 4°C. We are warming, that’s for sure.

Everything is all right, we are progressing, and we are feeling good! As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We get stronger by every tough situation. In the following 5 days we are going to have useful winds, we will progress well.

Conrad Colman co-skipper Ships Log February 8th Position: 42 Degrees 37′ South 47 Degrees 35′ East (Longitude of Madagascar, but not the temperature!)

Sea Temperature 10.5 and falling again! We could very well be on the Truman Show, the Jim Carrey movie where he lives in an artificial community under a plastic bubble that he doesn’t know isn’t real. We currently have almost zero visibility as the wind has turned to the north, bringing relatively warm moist air rushing over the cooler ocean, that has created a thick fog that we have been swimming in for two days. Given that we have only glimpsed the isolated bird sanctuary of Gough Island ( if you don’t know where it is, click here) since we left Europe could it be possible that we have been sailing in a giant version of those endless swimming pools that triathletes put in their living rooms? We measure our progress by dots on a screen and won’t see land again until we round Cape Horn in several weeks. I say this only because the charger for the ipad has broken, thus leaving us without books and can only turn around in circles with our own thoughts. It might make for an interesting social experiment… Put two people in a box for months on end and slowy remove outside stimulus and see what happens! I have clearly missed my calling as a social scientist/ evil genius !

Aside from the numbing wet fog and the bizzare thoughts it inspires, life is great. We had a bit of a tense moment last night as we waited anxiously for the wind to follow the forecast and turn to the north in order to lift us up away from the ice exclusion zone. We had tacked over earlier in the day and were cashing in our hard won progress to the north at an alarming rate, the wind steadily pushing us into the forbidden zone. In what felt like a last minute swerve worthy of an action movie, the wind shifted and we were free once more to continue our easterly course. We are now reaching nicely with our biggest jib and one reef in the main (still handicapped by our earlier halyard problems) and will change to our big reaching and running sails in the next few days as the wind turns to the west. Our spirits have lifted now that we are pointing the right way and have stopped the horrible crashing from our week of upwind sailing. Now things are starting to resemble the conditions we
signed up for. Cheers to all at home for the end of the weekend

Carnet de bord 8 février Position: 42° 37’ Sud et 47° 35’ Est (longitude de Madagascar mais pas sa température!!)

Température de la mer: 10,5° et ça continue de baisser!

J’ai un peu l’impression que nous sommes dans le «Truman Show», le film de Jim Carrey où il vit dans une communauté fictive sous une bulle géante en plastique mais il ignore que ce n’est pas la réalité. Alors que le vent a tourné et souffle du Nord, l’air chaud sur l’océan plus froid a créé un brouillard épais et cela fait presque 2 jours que nous avons une visibilité proche de 0. Puisque la seule terre que nous avons aperçu depuis le départ était l’île de Gough ( si vous ne savez pas où c’est cliquez ici ), serait-il possible que nous soyons dans une piscine géante comme celles que certains tri-athlètes installent dans leur salon? Nous suivons nos progrès grâce à des points sur un écran et la prochaine fois que nous verrons un bout de terre sera au Cap Horn, dans quelques semaines! Si je raconte tout ça c’est surtout parce que notre chargeur d’Ipad a cassé et que nous ne pourrons donc plus lire jusqu’à Barcelone et ça nous laisse beaucoup (trop) de temps pour cogiter ! Cela ressemble à une expérience sociale: mettez 2 personnes dans un cube pendant quelques mois et retirez petit à petit tout stimulus extérieur pour voir ce qu’il se passe… clairement j’ai loupé ma vocation comme expert en sciences sociales/ génie du mal!

Mis à part le brouillard engourdissant et les pensées bizarres qu’il m’inspire, la vie est belle. Nous avons attendu avec un peu d’anxiété que le vent tourne hier soir alors que nous nous approchions à grands pas (presque trop rapidement, le comble) de la zone d’exclusion mais le changement est arrivé, au dernier moment, comme dans un bon film à suspens nous permettant enfin de reprendre notre route vers l’Est! Nous naviguons actuellement avec notre plus grand foc et un ris dans la grand-voile (toujours le même soucis) et avons hâte de passer sous spi/ gennaker dans les jours prochains lorsque le vent va tourner à l’Ouest. Le moral est bien meilleur à bord maintenant que nous allons dans la bonne direction dans des conditions beaucoup plus agréables que notre semaine passée au près. Maintenant cela ressemble beaucoup plus à ce que l’on imaginait en partant! Bonne fin de weekend à tous