Speeding along towards Estrecho de La Maire.. a last blog post from Jess

We’re 60 miles north of the Estrecho de La Maire, and currently doing 10 knots on a beam reach (we’ll have to slow down or we’ll be too early for the tide).  Our plans are then to head up towards the Beagle channel, and possibly stop somewhere briefly before proceeding to Ushuaia.

So, this is going to be my last ever blog entry from Elinca. I have been on
the voyage since Elinca set off from Falmouth and I get booted off the boat
in Ushuaia  :(. Before I start picking at your heart strings and making you
feel sad like I do, I thought I would share with you some information about
Elinca, and her past career as a racing yacht.
On board, we have a book titled ‘Only Wind and Water’ by Michael Calvin. It
is about the BT Open Challenge Race, an around-the-world sailing race which
takes the vessels and crew from the UK, south to the Southern Ocean, where
they bear west, taking the most difficult route. The crew and I have been
intrigued about the tales from the book, as their style of voyage was much
different to ours. They had to sail on straight into storms and battle
through them to win, whilst we do our best to avoid them, putting the safety
of the crew and Elinca first. However, we have recently sailed through some
heavy weather in the infamous roaring forties and furious fifties, which I
feel has given us a bit of a closer idea of racing crews journey.
The BT Open Challenger race was designed by Sir Chay Blyth, a once Parachute
Regiment sergeant, who decided to participate in a solo race around the
world. With hardly any sailing experience he made a record breaking solo
voyage in 1971. This amateur element became the fundamental principal for
the Challenger races, all the crew were of all ages and abilities and
mainly, non-sailors.
Elinca, under her previous name, ‘Time and Tide’ was built in 1996 to be one
of the 14 Challenger vessels to take part in the race. Not only was the
vessel and crew in competition with the 13 other vessels, they were also
trying to be the first yacht to sail around the world crewed by disabled
people! They were successful in completing the race, which I think is
incredible given that the crew were physically disadvantaged. We have always
joked upon Elinca how it can be difficult to do the most basic tasks, such
as get out of bed when the boat is strongly heeled over, or to cook. Its
hard to imagine what they would have been like with disabilities.
The Challenger races first leg ended in Rio de Janerio and then took the
yachts south, along the South American coast. Elinca’s route has been
similar to theirs so far, but we have stopped off at many ports in
comparison giving  us a chance to contact the outside world and stretch our
legs. We thought that a few weeks across the Atlantc was a long voyage, the
Challenger race crew would not have set foot on land for over a month at
each time! But amongst the hardship of the Challenger race also came some
humorous stories, one of the yachts was doing 11 knots towards the Canary
Islands, only to be forced to a halt as they crashed into a shark and killed
it! But don’t worry, its rare that we doing 11 knots so i doubt that will
happen to us.
Participating in the Challenger race seems like a very different world to
ours at the moment, we do have a time constrains but we dont have to push
ourselves as hard to race other vessels. I hope this has given you a little
insight into round-the-world racing anyway.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time upon Elinca and i just sailed to the most
southern city in the world- boom! The crew are brilliant people who have had
me in constant laughter for the past 2 1/2 months. I have also learnt loads,
such as that putting my feet on the table IS socially acceptable when
eating.  I just hope the crew know that I see them as family and that their
Antarctica Christmas is not going to feel right without me. I hope they feel
bad about not offering to stash me away so that I can go with them, but i
know they will regret not doing so.
But, guilt tripping aside, I would like to thank my friends and family who
have commented on the blog 🙂
(dont worry im not really sentimental or a massive guilt tripper, im just
trying to make everyone sad to see me leave and take me to Antarctica with
them )
Bye guys,
|Oh- Joe would like to give a shout out to those he knows that are old,
young and even younger.

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5 Responses to Speeding along towards Estrecho de La Maire.. a last blog post from Jess

  1. Pete Lamb says:

    Sounds like you are flying along now and that flag gets ever closer to the bottom of the map! We can’t believe how quick the time seems to go and wonder whether it’s the same for you or does it seem to go slow. It’s coming quickly to the end for Jenn too as well as Jess and I guess it’s nearly the start for other new faces who must be dying to get on board to share this fantastic trip. Wish I could stow away too!! Happy sailing to you all and well done and we will still be following your interesting journey even after our Cherub has left you. Love to Jenn and safe journey to everyone xx

  2. Anne Crawford says:

    Lovely to hear from you Jess and I don’t want you to leave Elinca either, even though I am so looking forward to seeing you very soon. It has been wonderful following all the blogs and I have learned so much about sailing, the Atlantic, Antarctica and of course something of life on board Elinca. I will not be surprised if I hear you have stowed away somewhere on board but guess with the size of Elinca that would be pretty difficult and they would definitely hear you! Of course I will continue to follow the adventures of the rest of the gang. Your dad, I believe set off early this morning. Have brilliant, brilliant days until you get to Ushuaia . Love to you and all xx

  3. Mike says:

    Feet on the table…I thought that was only after you had sailed around Cape Horn?? Just take a slight de-tour (long cut) on your way to Ushuaia!

  4. Hilary Garratt says:

    Hi Jess its Mum – love the blog and if you manage to get a stowaway ticket to Antarctica you will have to 1) take dad with you 2) have a good explanation when he arrives t meet you . Can’t wait to see you but also feel sad that you are leaving your friends . What an amazing and brave experience you have had . Not sure i can cope with feet on table so please be gentle when you get home .Enjoy the next few days xxxx

  5. Josie Clarke says:

    Hi Jess its Aunty Anne’s friend Josie. What an amazing time you have been having and still are having. Savour your last few days and I will very much look forward to meeting you again to hear all about your adventures. Well done and congratulations on everything you have achieved over the past two months. Best wishes and land ahoy!! Josie xx

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