On Monday February 21, Australian sailor Lisa Blair set sail from Albany, WA in a second attempt to sail solo, non-stop, around Antarctica in record time aboard her yacht ‘Climate Action Now’.
Blair is still trying to raise money to cover project costs. To sponsor Blair, see: https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/sponsors
You can also support by shopping with Lisa.
In her latest blog post, with approximately a week to go until the finish line, Blair tries not to think about the worst case scenario from occurring, like a repeat of the 2017 dismasting event.
Blog day 85
Latitude 46 38.12S
Longitude 108 09.38E
Air temp 10 c
For the live tracker, see: https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/tracker
Last night I managed to get to bed a few hours earlier than yesterday, at 4am instead of sunrise, but it is a start. While I spent a solid chunk of time in bed, I didn’t get any quality sleep. I am starting to feel a little anxious about it all. It has really been a long old run getting to this point and now within a few days I will be leaving the racetrack and sailing north for Albany. It’s a lot to take in.
The more excited I get, the more worried I get that something will snatch this all away again, like my dismasting. Instead, I simply try not to think about it and treat each day as if I still have another month at sea. But it has meant that my sleeping is suffering so I am trying to sleep more instead.
When I got up at lunch time, I was still lethargic and tired and contemplated going back to bed but decided to just get up and aim for an earlier sleep tonight as a way of trying to reset the body clock. The winds have been doing a great job of holding steady at 15 – 20 knots overnight, and into the day, but this evening they have finally begun the crawl to the north direction and so now I am sailing on a close reach rather than a beam reach. The swell is starting to kick up to a short choppy three metre wave, so we are starting to bounce around a bit too.
Today I also needed to climb into the back compartment and retrieve one of the emergency water jerry cans. For the past two weeks I have started to notice that the tank water is tasting a bit brackish and salty, even with flavour added it has become too hard to drink. I have a water maker on board; this uses pressure to push salt water through a really fine membrane that removes the impurities like salt and minerals from the water, so you end up converting salt water to fresh.
I have been using this, the whole circumnavigation, but only when the engine is running, which is around every three days to charge the batteries. Recently, I noticed that if I am healing over a lot that the brine water or discarded extra salty water that normally travels from the water maker to the sink and is dropped back in the sea, doesn’t appear to reach the sink. I can only assume that when I am healing over a lot that the water maker isn’t strong enough to push the water uphill, and instead, it goes through the path of least resistance, through the water maker membrane and into my tanks…
Over the course of the trip I have slowly been using a little more water than I have made, so I have been getting less and less in the tanks. I think because of this, it has become more noticeable, and has now rendered the water undrinkable. So, I dug out one of the emergency jerry cans of fresh water that I carry. I have 60 litres in total across three jerry cans, so I have plenty to get me to port, but it is now just a hassle to get to the water. So, to make things a little easier I filled up the kettle and a two-litre flask that I have, along with my water bottle before re-stowing the jerry can.
Aside from that, today has been rather simple. I have been slowly making my way through the Game of Thrones series again and I have to say I have gotten so much more out of it the second time round. So much more makes sense, and it has been a great distraction from all my worries out here, but tonight I watched the final episode. It is all over, now what will I distract myself with…
The winds have now firmly swung to the North and as they are jumping around a touch there is a bit of NNE in it at times too, so I am going to wrap up this blog so that I can go on deck and trim the sails and decide if it is time to put the first reef in or not. More wind is arriving over the course of the morning, so I will need to see once I have re-trimmed if I feel Climate Action Now would sail better with a reef now or later.
Before I go, I wanted to give a huge shout out to Simon Rowell. You have heard me talking about Bob (metbob) many times as the weather forecaster and router of my project. He has been doing a remarkable job. In the wings is Simon who very kindly agreed to stand-by as a backup meteorologist in-case Bob was unavailable. I met Simon just over 10 years ago in the UK, just before I sailed around the world in the Clipper Race. He was my RYA Yacht Master Ocean Examiner.
The thing I remember most about him is that as soon as you make him a cup of tea, you’d best be putting the kettle on again, as he will want another as soon as he gets done. Over the years we have kept taps on each other and when I emailed to see if he would stand as backup he immediately said yes. Simon is the meteorologist for the British Olympic sailing team, so it goes to show just how knowledgeable he is with regards to sailing and weather.
He recently published a weather book titled ‘Weather at sea’ that you can find available from https://fernhurstbooks.com/ and from Amazon. I highly recommend reading it if you plan on sailing the seas, Simon is also available for routing support too. So, I just wanted to say thank you Simon for waiting in the wings and being a great support of this project.
There are no degree sponsors tonight, but I would like to encourage you to take a look at the bags made from the sails of Climate Action Now, recycled from the 2015 record attempt, and other items available on my website.
How to follow Lisa Blair’s voyage:
Track Lisa Blair’s position on her website – https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/
To sponsor Lisa Blair, see – https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/sponsors
Lisa Blair’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/LisaBlairSailstheWorld
To purchase Lisa Blair’s book ‘Facing Fear’, see – https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/eco-shop