200 miles to the finish line

05 May 2008

Fedor Konyukhov reported at 18-00 WA time: “On the sun set I went on deck just on time – on the portside bow I noticed giant sperm whale on a collision heading with my yacht. He was steaming to the southern ocean without paying any attention to my vessel. He was like a big drift wood, but with powerful fountains. I just managed to bear away from this mammal and it passed 5-6 meters from bowsprit! If I did not take some actions – we would certainly hit him (I am sure it was male, based on his dimensions, probably 20 meters LOA).

It reminded me that you should never say – we are in the safe waters, until you put your boat alongside the Jetty. Even with 200 miles to the finish line anything may happened. Like right now I am in tricky situation. I have all sails up, full main and solent, the night is coming and black clouds are arriving on the scene. I am fighting temptation to reduce sails area to be on the safe side in case of sudden squall or gust, but at the same time don’t want to slow down the boat. It would be crazy to damage the rig or sail so close to the finish, but I also need to get to Albany before prolonged period on light winds arrive, followed by Low pressure coming soon. Definitely this night will be stressful and sleepless, although the ocean is smooth and it is very, very arm here, well at least compare to what I had 3 days ago. Regards. Fedor   

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