Lisa Blair blog: Remembering 2017

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’.

In her latest blog post, Blair gets some much needed rest ahead of a storm and reminisces on Climate Action Now’s 2017 dismasting event.

Blog day 56
Latitude 51 19.72S
Longitude 15 22.35W
Barometer 984
Air Temp 4c
Local Time 2345 UTC-3

Hi all,

Well, while it was sunny on deck the winds were still playing silly buggers and were continuing their full 360 degree rotation from the day before, so I ended up spending most of my morning on deck and adjusting the sails as the winds rotated from the SSE to the S to the SSW to the W. Eventually, at lunchtime, I was able to put in the final gybe putting me on a port tack in 15-20 knots of wind and with a sea state of two-three metres. 

Once the boat was sorted, I went around and completed my normal deck checks before climbing into the lazarette compartment, and from there, back into the rudder compartment, to check on my autopilot hydraulic ram mount repair.  I am pleased to say that there has been no movement at all. The repair is holding really well. 

I am in pre-storm mode, so I have been trying to get some sleep. Even though I feel like all I have been doing now is sleep, I am still feeling worn and tired.  I have upped my food intake with a focus on protein for muscle recovery. I have been snacking on protein balls and protein shakes to fuel up.  A part of me feels like I am gearing up for battle and there is that sense of anticipation in the air. 

Since rounding Cape Horn, I haven’t had swells larger than four metrse, but with this storm I will be getting waves back up to 8 metres. My guess is that they will be developing differently, and likely to be breaking and quite aggressive. If you think about the storm that hit right before I rounded Cape Horn and it was generating 8-metre waves. Those waves had the entire Pacific Ocean to form and therefore were more rounded like a mountain, rather than a peak.

The waves coming from this storm will have only had a little over 1000 nm to develop into that size, so the waves have been formed more aggressively and to then reach that size, well I am bracing.  It is also indicative in the period of the swell.  The period is the time between the peak of one wave to the next.  So far the periods have been around 11 seconds but this storm is bring a wave with a period of 10 seconds.

On its own it is not alarming, but when you add 45 knots gusting 60 knots on top, it starts to get rough. There is every likely hood that I will be hove-to in a couple of days to ride it out, but now I need to rest as much as I can to re-fuel my body.

I also think that the closer I get to my dismasting location the more antsy I am getting. If you haven’t read my book titled Facing Fear that was published by Australian Geographic, it depicts the story of my first circumnavigation around Antarctica.

It is the detailed telling of the dismasting and the fear and anguish of that night as I faced my own morality The book is available here and if you scroll down on the home page of my website there is a section called most read blogs from 2017 Antarctica Circumnavigation. You can read the blog written from that night. 

It was a traumatic event, and if you read that story, you can understand why I might feel like I need to prepare for battle out here.  I dismasted 1000 nm directly south of South Africa which is roughly 1400 nm away from where I am now, or a seven to eight day sail. It is creeping up fast. I almost didn’t survive last time, this time I will not only survive but I am going to thrive.

And on that cheery note I am going to sign off today, I would normally thank the degree sponsors here but unfortunately there isn’t one for tonight’s blog. If you’re in a position to support and become a degree sponsor, please check it out as there is still ample time to jump aboard and support this project. We are still struggling to raise the final funds.

Until tomorrow goodnight.


Note from Mum:
Sorry this blog was late. Lisa was late sending it through which meant I was at work. I then went home from work early as I was not well and went to bed. Also, she has had no success with the system on board for sending video’s/photos etc which is a bit sad.

How to follow Lisa Blair’s voyage:

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To purchase Lisa Blair’s book ‘Facing Fear’, see –

Jeanneau JY55
NAV at Home
JPK August 2023
NAV at Home