Day 80 – Revised Route

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Thu 3 Mar 2022 13:44
Noon Position: 41 12.7 S 004 05.9 W
Course: ESE Speed: 6.5 knots
Wind: NW, F5 Sea: moderate
Swell: W 2 m
Weather: overcast, cool, light fog, visibility 1nm.
Day’s Run: 143 nm

We had a ship pass us by yesterday afternoon, the Sandpiper Pacific, a large
tanker and the first vessel I have seen since Cape Horn. I tried calling it
on VHF and, like Gough Island, I received no reply. However, unlike the met
station on Gough Island it is extremely unlikely that the ship’s bridge was
not keeping a listening watch on VHF channel 16 so I am once more doubting
whether my VHF radio is working properly. If there is a problem it is most
likely in the coaxial cable between the radio and the antenna at the
masthead, which is a very long run. I have already checked the connections
and can find no obvious faults. For now I shall continue to test the radio
on an opportunity basis. Ultimately the solution, if indeed there is a
problem, will be to replace the entire cable.
I mentioned some time ago that I was going to change my circumnavigation
route so as to avoid rounding Cape of Good Hope in the middle of winter
which just seems a silly thing to do if it can be avoided. When I was
discussing this with Mark he related Jesse James’s experience (he had his
book on board) who had rounded it in winter. Jesse encountered a force 10
storm which sounds like it was the worst of his voyage. Personally, I have
absolutely no desire to experience such a storm. So, to that end, after
discussions with Mark and Wayne, I have revised my route as follows:
Adelaide – SW Cape, Tasmania – Stewart I, NZ to port – Bounty Is to stbd –
WP1 47 00S 180 00W to stbd, remaining north of 47 00S until WP2 – WP2 47 00S
120 00W to stbd – Cape Horn to port – WP3 47 00S 040 00W to stbd – Gough I
to stbd – Cape of Good Hope to port – Amsterdam I to port – Seychelles to
stbd – Minicoy I to stbd – WP4 04 00S 094 00E to stbd – Cape Leeuwin to
port – Adelaide.
I submitted this route to the secretary of the World Sailing Speed Council
but he advised me that unfortunately they cannot approve voyages after they
have commenced because for their official recognition they need to have a
representative to supervise the start and to have one of their black-box
recording devices installed on board to validate the vessel’s track. I am a
bit disappointed that my circumnavigation (if I complete it – a long way to
go yet) won’t be officially recognised but I console myself that it makes no
difference to its achievement (or not), nor the sense of satisfaction of
having completed it, or indeed of having simply given it a go.
Day 80 - interesting to reflect that these days yachts have sailed around
the world in less than eighty days.
All is well.