Boisterous Conditions in the South Atlantic

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Sun 25 Mar 2012 01:14

Boisterous Conditions in the South Atlantic

Position 49:08.5S 061:01.0 – 140 nm NNW of the Falkland Islands

Date Time: 24 March 2012 2200 local


 This will be short because of the boisterous conditions. We left Harberton at 0130 early in the morning on 22 March. The reason we left in the middle of the night was that we had to pass through the notorious Le Maire Strait with its tide rips and ship-eating overfalls and standing waves, at low water at midday to minimise the danger.


In the event it turned out to be without problems except that the usually lumpy and chaotic sea you get in the strait did turn the stomachs of a few of the crew. We are now approaching three days at sea with mainly good sailing, having covered about 450 miles of the 1500 mile total. We did have to turn on the engine for a few hours yesterday when the wind went light, but apart from that we have been making good progress under sail with the wind from behind us.


As had been forecast, we are being overtaken by a cold front, bringing strong winds from the south and south west. These are likely to remain with us for the next 2 or 3 days. The conditions are uncomfortable but they are speeding us towards Buenos Aires. We currently have 40 knot winds directly from behind us. We have a poled out headsail on one side, well reefed, and the mainsail strapped down on the other side, also well reefed. So we are clipping along at just under 8 knots. The seas are getting bigger – about 3 metres, and are expected to get bigger still as the wind continues to freshen. The boat under autopilot is coping with the conditions rather better than her crew. In these conditions the boat is rolling quite considerably, and we are being chucked about like pinballs. Hence the brevity of this blog! But we are bearing up and only glad that we have the wind behind us – trying to go in the opposite direction against the winds and waves would be pure hell!