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, Blair continues to rest up after suffering from extreme sleep deprivation earlier this week. And she may only have 3000nm to go, but Blair’s not putting too much thought into it, as to not jinx herself.
Blog day 73
Latitude 45 55.25S
Longitude 59 05.62E
Air temp 9c
Local time 0530 UTC+4
Well I am pleased to say that after replacing the water pump on the science unit it has been running like a trouper. So, when I woke up at 0800 to change the micro plastic samples over it was a simple and quick process. I had made the plan to go back to bed but the winds decided that they were going to give me a short belt of 40 knots making all the alarms trip and go off. This meant that I was able to lay in bed and keep an eye on things, even if I wasn’t quite sleeping.
I was due another storm today and as always, I never quite know how bad they will be. The forecast always gives me a fairly good idea but then things like local depths or wave formation can change how rough it is going to be.
The new winds started to fill in at 10am and went from a steady 25 – 30 knots to a steady 35-40 knots and it was only due to get worse, the plus side was that the swell hadn’t developed yet into something dangerous so while we were having lots of broaches I wasn’t getting too many severe knockdowns.
A broach is when the boat gets overpowered by the wind causing you to round up into the wind, and then at the same time you are rolled on your side because a wave hits. You roll so far over that the lower half of the boat goes underwater and the boom is dragged through the water. It is a totally different feeling to a knockdown and a lot less aggressive, even if it looks dramatic.
A knockdown you are sailing along perfectly fine when out of nowhere there is a wave so large that it slams into the side of the boat with no notice and slams you down on your side with surprising force. I can normally feel when a broach is going to happen allowing me time to brace for it as you don’t tend to have the same impact or g-force applied.
So today I decided to keep my third reef in the mainsail and the storm jib up in the 35-40 knots of wind that this next little storm was giving me. The seas were only at six metres and while they were breaking a little and we did get the odd side swipe from a wave it was a calm (ish) storm in comparison to some of the others we have gone through. The downside of keeping a bit of extra sail up was that we were getting regular broaches throughout the day.
I was watching the barometer falling all day and when it hit 1012 it was due to indicate the bottom of the storm and the conditions would improve in the few hours after as the barometer rises again, however, this blow or storm was slightly different. The barometer was falling to the 1012 and then stay there for several hours indicating that the winds wouldn’t get too high, but they would remain at the heightened state for a while. And this is exactly what happened.
So all day today the storm raged around me, but I am so used to living in this roller coaster of conditions that it barley phased me. I just went about my day making a breakfast of porridge in the Easy Oven before settling in to read my book. It was too rough for me to really do anything, yet to calm to warrant hiding in the navigation station.
I ended up spending most of the day reading at the galley bench and binging on all the snacks that I have on board. Apart from a quick deck check in the morning I didn’t need to go outside all day as the sails were already set for the conditions and needed no adjustment.
So while I was in a storm, it was a bit of a slow day. As I am still feeling the exhaustion from the last few days, I started to nod off at 6pm in the galley and eventually decided to simply go to bed. I needed to wake up at 5.30am local time to complete an interview with GWN 7. For those of you in Perth, I believe it is to air tonight on the news. I decided just to take the opportunity to sleep while I could. I wasn’t able to get a great sleep because the alarms would trip every few minutes, but I was able to doze on and off over the course of the night until I got up for my interview.
We now have less than 3000 nm left to sail on this record and it is starting to feel surreal that the end is in sight. A huge part of me is so ready for land, and all the luxuries that come with that, along with getting to see my family and have a real conversation with real people. Another part of me almost doesn’t want the little bubble I am living in to pop. It is this simplistic life at sea of eat, sleep, sail, rinse and repeat…. oh, and what’s the weather doing.
While it is brutal out here at times, it is also so very peaceful. There are none of the land-based worries impacting me out here. I can say with certainty, that I will be looking so forward to having a hot shower and a full night’s rest. Also, I am finding that I don’t want to think about the finish line or the end of the record too much, because I don’t want to jinx it.
Last time I started dreaming about land and what would happen next and then I dismasted. This time I am going to wait until I get a little closer to Australia before I think too hard on these things.
And so, for now, I am going to try to get another little sleep in before the first Microplastic sample change at 0800. Before I go I would like to take a moment to thank the following amazing degree sponsors.
Thank you to:
057 East – d’Albora Marinas – Cabarita Point, Sydney Harbour – Huge thank you to d’Albora Marinas for your wonderful and ongoing support of this project. The Cabarita Point marina is well located in the center of Sydney Harbour just to the west of the bridge and has great access to the city through the ferry services right next door.
59 East – 59 North sailing – Huge thank you to Andy, and your team for your incredible support. 59 North have a great podcast called ‘On the Wind‘ and is well worth a listen and if you are interested in ocean adventure sailing and traveling off the beaten track then I suggest you take a look at their website.
Thank you all.
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