Well it seems that in the last week or so, I’ve gone from a rather reluctant blogger to verging on a regular. This is partially out of necessity today, because the blog is written during the pre-breakfast watch (4 AM to 8 AM) and we’ve run out of bread, Andrew Kitching is baking and the remainder of the watch are feeling seasick and didn’t want to sit downstairs at the computer.
At the moment we are almost half of our way back across the Drake passage, and Elinca is going like a train. We’ve covered 206 miles in the last 24 hours with two reefs in the main, full jib and staysail, and much of that 24 hour run due to the acceleration overnight. The wind is marginally abaft the beam, and expected to back to the southwest today and tomorrow, so fingers crossed we can hold this speed and be off Cape Horn on the evening of the 28th.
As Skipper James so aptly summed up yesterday evening, it has been a while since we’ve done 8 knots in the right direction! Yesterday’s excellent sailing in cold crisp sunshine, in my mind, made up for the lack of a brisk boxing day walk.
I must say that we were all a little sad to wave good-bye to Antarctica even as the peaks of the South Shetlands loomed on our quarter for much of the day. I very much hope that the crew of the second Antarctic leg have the same if not better experiences of the frozen paradise. Midnight sun, Christmas penguins, humpback whales illuminated in a quite unique light, will linger long in the memory. Or until I go back again.
After so many highlights having been on the boat for 94 days now, hopefully those from the Antarctic won’t be the last. There is still a (slim) chance that we may land on Cape Horn and visit the lighthouse keeper, and we do of course have the small matter of New Year’s Eve to negotiate while the Fuegean Channels from Cape Horn through to Puerto Williams and Ushuaia are no less than stunning in their own right.
My turn back on the helm now so I best dash, but festive greetings once again.
PS for those joining on the next legs, we will clean up the boat, I promise, and we definitely haven’t broken anything.