VENDEE GLOBE – A really horrid 24hrs running/reaching in dreadful, huge waves. The boat has, and still is, taking a serious pounding in these conditions. Only small things have actually broken such as the gennaker furler drum which detached itself from its stowage position and has done some damage to the bow – probably only cosmetic but there could be some delamination – I’m not concerned as this is a strong bit of the boat. One of the daggerboard covers has come off and broken which means the forward leeward ballast fills and needs continual emptying. The leak in the transom is much worse and I had a good amount of water building up which, with the bouncing and pounding, has leapt over into the next bulkhead – I could shut the door but I like to see what’s happening.
Everything else, keel system, rig sails deck gear and me have taken real punishment: this is a true Cape of Good Hope experience – and there is no escaping from it. It’s just a function of the wind and massive seas which are so large because of the Agulhas current which is setting against the wind. The water is warm and has both flying fish (normally unseen in the South) and Portuguese Man-O-War jellies in it – worth dodging when they arrive in the cockpit trailing stingers everywhere!
The predicted fleet compression looks now like it will become a serious extension by the lead pack – disappointing – I need to work the boat to the max, inspite of the conditions – just in case the high comes in slower/faster and allows me to squeeze through. Seems doubtful now – but still worth a go.