Fedor Konyukhov
enru
05.04.2008

Final stretch Fedor across ice gate

Today is the DAY, we are negotiating 10 to 13 East Longitudes, where several confirmed icebergs . I am sailing now with reduced sails as we have very pour visibility. Once we clear Icy Gate I will have more room for maneuvering and plan to sail south towards 47-48 South to stay away from head winds. During last two weeks I was balancing between westerly’s and North, north easterlies. Heads winds with general S-W swell is quite damaging fro the boat and by putting the boat more South I hope to gain more down wind conditions. Obviously, Lee Bruce will have his final word on this tactic. Local wild life keeps scarring me

Details

Today is the DAY, we are negotiating 10 to 13 East Longitudes, where several confirmed icebergs . I am sailing now with reduced sails as we have very pour visibility. Once we clear Icy Gate I will have more room for maneuvering and plan to sail south towards 47-48 South to stay away from head winds. During last two weeks I was balancing between westerly’s and North, north easterlies. Heads winds with general S-W swell is quite damaging fro the boat and by putting the boat more South I hope to gain more down wind conditions. Obviously, Lee Bruce will have his final word on this tactic.

Local wild life keeps scarring me. Last night I heard some noise and noticed movements in the port side steering cockpit. I grab the torch and found a black gull sitting in the cockpit. Perhaps it hit the main sail or one of the shrouds or was ill. Anyway I left him to rest and in the morning pushed him into the water. Birds often die on board sailing yacht; they fall asleep and never wake up. I had many of these sad stories while sailing. A lot of birds landing on deck in Tropics, where they have migration routes. From Falmouth to Albany I had dozens on birds sitting on deck and rigging. They rest for short period (1 hour) and continue those who stayed longer for day or more – unfortunately die. This is always sad, but scientifically calls “natural selection”.

The ocean around me is lifeless, only one wale a week ago and this bird in the cockpit. Empty, vast surface. I am sure there are plenty of activities deep in the waters but on the surface I can’t see much, although monitoring the horizon on regular basis.    

5 degrees left to Cape Of Good Hope and from there – 100 degrees to Albany. It is great feeling to see how we are “eating” miles to finish. Much better feeling compare when we were sailing towards mid point and increasing the gap.

The repaired rudder is holding OK. In general after 26.000 n/miles in this particular season (Falmouth – Albany and ACRT) the boat is in good shape and major equipment in working order. Regards, Fedor”

 



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03.04.2008

Report from Fedor

Good morning, we are just before the sun rise. Right now I am experiencing north and periodically N-N-E winds that forces us to sail more southerly course. My paper chart is full of red marks; this is how I color the position of confirmed icebergs based on satellite tracking provided by C-CORE and Polar View. I am on red alert. Yes, it is stressful here when you aware of ice location. Fatigue and sleep deprivation is taking place. Sailing solo in the Southern Ocean has one advantage – very little ships traffic here and with 2 Active Echo units (one on the mast one at the stern) I can detect ship at 5-6 miles range and take actions

Details

Good morning, we are just before the sun rise. Right now I am experiencing north and periodically N-N-E winds that forces us to sail more southerly course. My paper chart is full of red marks; this is how I color the position of confirmed icebergs based on satellite tracking provided by C-CORE and Polar View. I am on red alert. Yes, it is stressful here when you aware of ice location. Fatigue and sleep deprivation is taking place. Sailing solo in the Southern Ocean has one advantage – very little ships traffic here and with 2 Active Echo units (one on the mast one at the stern) I can detect ship at 5-6 miles range and take actions. Of course if this ship operates radar. Basically in the Southern ocean you concentrate on sailing, wind shifts and waves direction which is easy to predict and work out. With the iceberg, especially bits less than 50 meters I don’t have any reliable tools on board. I can only run my radar but the sea state is confused, waves around 4-5 meters and frankly speaking – I do not get clear picture. This night was a good example: there were several objects on the screen that could be icebergs and I bared away from them not 100% sure what is was. It is “blind navigation” here and this is second time we are playing Russian roulette (last time it was in the Pacific where Fedor reported 6 icebergs within 24 hours). The satellite tracking suggested that icebergs gone further North to 44 South so basically there an icy fence from 44 to 54 South and I have to navigate through the gap.



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02.04.2008

Trading Netwrok Alye Parusa crossed Prime Meridian

Russian Open 85 ft yacht "Trading Network Alye Parusa" crossed Prime/Greenwich Meridian and entered Eastern Hemisphere. Fedor reports: “It is good to be back to home hemisphere where we have both Moscow – home for me and Albany home for Antarctica Cup event. It is great felling to have vast distance of Western Hemisphere behind the stern and a little bit sad that I am leaving this harsh and hostile but unique and incomparable environment, home waters for Cape Horn

Details

Russian Open 85 ft yacht "Trading Network Alye Parusa" crossed Prime/Greenwich Meridian and entered Eastern Hemisphere. Fedor reports: “It is good to be back to home hemisphere where we have both Moscow – home for me and Albany home for Antarctica Cup event. It is great felling to have vast distance of Western Hemisphere behind the stern and a little bit sad that I am leaving this harsh and hostile but unique and incomparable environment, home waters for Cape Horn. From now we have another 118 degrees to Albany, which I broke into several stretches: first task is to sails through the ice range from 0’0 till 15 E, we decided to round several confirmed icebergs from South and leave them to stbd. There should be a gap between two groups of confirmed icebergs and I want to navigate there. Once we clear this section, here comes Cape of Good Hope - that marks 100 degrees to Albany, then another leg to Kerguelen Islands and from there - final stretch to Albany. All is well on board, steady wind and cooperative sea state. Regards, Fedor ”.

Bob Williams Chairman Antarctica Cup Ocean Race:

“Having now crossed the Prime Meridian the next significant milestones for Fedor are avoiding icebergs located at 10E in SECTOR 13 of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack and crossing 20E into the Indian Ocean leaving behind ‘iceberg alley’ in the South Atlantic Ocean. From race control in Albany: “Fedor has sailed 3,000 nautical miles since entering the South Atlantic Ocean Zone of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack on March 03/08. To date Fedor has not reported sighting any icebergs and that’s the way we would like to keep it. Satellite scans have located an iceberg at 45.32S, 10.67E. We are unaware what ice there is north of 45S. Fedor will sail to the south of this iceberg. Within a matter of days Fedor, and all on shore, will be much relieved as Fedor exits this area of severe iceberg activity”.

 



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31.03.2008

Sat phone session with Fedor

Last 24 hours were extreme in many ways. First we had up to 55 knots of head winds that pushed the boat down to 46 South. Seas build up significantly and my “dry boat” had plenty of water on deck and in the cockpit. I had to furl in staysail and brought the boat as close on the wind as possible, but still we were heading 135-140 COG which is towards the S-E, confirmed iceberg location. Late in the morning wind dropped from 50 to 10 knots and I thought I would get sea sick (although I never experienced sea sickness) – waves were chaotic, bumping and crushing on to the boat

Details

Last 24 hours were extreme in many ways. First we had up to 55 knots of head winds that pushed the boat down to 46 South. Seas build up significantly and my “dry boat” had plenty of water on deck and in the cockpit. I had to furl in staysail and brought the boat as close on the wind as possible, but still we were heading 135-140 COG which is towards the S-E, confirmed iceberg location. Late in the morning wind dropped from 50 to 10 knots and I thought I would get sea sick (although I never experienced sea sickness) – waves were chaotic, bumping and crushing on to the boat. I even said “Sorry” to my boat that ocean is crushing on her motionless hull and there is nothing I could do. I was wasting my time trying to put some sails up – big swell and wind waves with light winds – always bad combination, we were not moving. The top of the mast was flying from one side to another with 10 meters of amplitude.  I was like in Circus arena balancing on deck. Definitely last 24 hours was pure frustration in terms of boat progress. Have not crossed yet Greenwich Meridian! I thought I would be in Eastern Hemisphere 2 days ago, and again ocean brought some corrections into my schedule. I had enough of stress already, but at the end of this day, when I was standing in stbd steering cockpit, a massive Humpback whale came to the surface 15 meters away from me and discharged his oxygenless air with terrifying sound and splash. If that would be during the night – someone can get a heart attack.  I even could feel the smell of his breath.  We been beaten by 50+ knots head winds, wind waves, constant threat from icebergs and finally this giant mammal is rubbing shoulder alongside my boat. I had enough of events on deck, switch “On” the pilot and went below to put the kettle on. That is all, nothing major had happened. Forgot to mention about rain or drizzle with periods of heavy fog. Another glorious day in the Southern Ocean. Regards, Fedor



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30.03.2008

Fedor passed 6 miles north to the large iceberg

According to this latest data from C-CORE there is an iceberg 340m long x 157m wide located at 45.3199S, 10.670W. Fedor@@apos@@s position report 29/03/08, 2106 UTC placed him at 45, 9.48S, 10, 34.39W.  This means that Fedor passed 6 miles to the north of the iceberg. As he has not reported sighting any icebergs presumably he passed the iceberg during the night.We provided Fedor with the position report on another 15 bergs that are ahead and south of his course, but as was mentioned before C-CORE data contain info on icegras that are 150 meters and larger. So there is no guarantee that smaller icebergs and growlers not drifted further north

Details

According to this latest data from C-CORE there is an iceberg 340m long x 157m wide located at 45.3199S, 10.670W. Fedor@@apos@@s position report 29/03/08, 2106 UTC placed him at 45, 9.48S, 10, 34.39W.  

This means that Fedor passed 6 miles to the north of the iceberg. As he has not reported sighting any icebergs presumably he passed the iceberg during the night.

We provided Fedor with the position report on another 15 bergs that are ahead and south of his course, but as was mentioned before C-CORE data contain info on icegras that are 150 meters and larger. So there is no guarantee that smaller icebergs and growlers not drifted further north.

1 -45.3 South - 10.6 West, size 339x157 meters
2 -46.7 S 12.7 W  317x92 m
3 -47.45 S 12.78 W   263x183 m
4 -47.03 S 10.57 W   423x166 m
5 -47.98 S  09.95 W    259x202
6 -47.93 S  09.49 W 362x272 m
7 -48.25 S  09.39 W 820x399 m
8 -48.67 S  10.50 W 204x149 m
9 -48.64 S  09.31 195x154 m

10 -49.65 S 13.05 W 207x95.27 m
11 -49.13 S 10.95 W 435x293 m

12 -49.30 S 11.06 W 291x264 m
13 -48.77 S 09.12S 395x298 m

14 -49.30 S 10.73 W 337x203 m
15 -48.94 S 09.02 W 194x131 m

Fedor reported that he is constantly using radar during the night. After short but powerful storm wind droped to 10 knots and waves from south and north created very uncomfortable conditions and Fedor even had to drop main sail down and lush the steering wheel with rope, as autopilots could not keep the boat on steady course due to slow speed of the boat (3-4 knots) and confused seas. Boat’s position at 01:00 GMT (30.03.08) 45,14.93S , 10,8.30W, heading 119, wind 10-15-kt N-N-W FEDOR OK



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29.03.2008

Report from Fedor.

“Just to give you brief update after the night. It is early morning here and we negotiated pretty heavy and powerful weather all night. The wind was gusting up to 50 knots. According to the forecast we are in the wing of a depression that centres deep South, but we only had 12 hours of gale. That’s the advantage to being up north – yes, we add more miles but reduce the chances of being hit by severe weather for a prolonged period. It was even exciting to see the storm come and go from the cockpit of my big and strong boat knowing that it will only last a short period

Details

“Just to give you brief update after the night. It is early morning here and we negotiated pretty heavy and powerful weather all night. The wind was gusting up to 50 knots. According to the forecast we are in the wing of a depression that centres deep South, but we only had 12 hours of gale. That’s the advantage to being up north – yes, we add more miles but reduce the chances of being hit by severe weather for a prolonged period. It was even exciting to see the storm come and go from the cockpit of my big and strong boat knowing that it will only last a short period. It would be a completely different feeling if I knew that we are in 3 days of storm. Here in the Southern Ocean it’s not the force of the wind that counts but the period of time it is blowing across the vast and uninterrupted surface creating dangerous conditions.

All is well on board and as Bob Williams said: “Fedor hug the @@apos@@outside rail@@apos@@ of the racecourse (45S)”. We are sailing alongside the Outside Lane and with the wind swinging from NW to SW we leave plenty of zigzags on the chart. I’m a bit concerned for NNE winds forecast for March 30. I hope it will stay more North rather than East. I have limited options in the current circumstances: sail north and cross the Racetrack boundary or sail south towards the iceberg zone. We will see how things develop. Regards, Fedor”
Forecast from Lee Bruce:
“As Fedor mentioned, the frontal shift will cause the wind to back, but the residual NW waves will make conditions difficult. The wind should already be changing, and although it will be strong, the worst will stay to Fedor’s southeast, as the low intensifies but moves south eastward away from him”.
He still should try to get in as much northing as possible, because the forecast has another 24+hrs worth of N/NNW wind, starting about 30/00Z.
29th March 08 /0000 UTC: W 35 gusting 45-50; squalls; backing and gradually weakening.
29th March 08 /0600 UTC: WSW 30-35, becoming WSW 20-25 knots.
29th March 08 /12oo UTC: W 20-25 knots.

 



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28.03.2008

Calm before the Storm

28/03/08 19:00 GMTSat phone session with Fedor Konyukhov“We had another fantastic night in the Southern Ocean. I never saw so many stars while sailing on the boat. Usually even in the clear night, there is a mist and layer of humid air but last night we had frosty air and billions of starts. It was more typical for sky observation in the mountains. Virtually all sky was sparkling. I was standing in the cockpit and looking on this dome of stars and feel that everything is in balance: the Nature, the boat and my body and soul. It was very peaceful and I can feel an eternity

Details

28/03/08 19:00 GMT

Sat phone session with Fedor Konyukhov

“We had another fantastic night in the Southern Ocean. I never saw so many stars while sailing on the boat. Usually even in the clear night, there is a mist and layer of humid air but last night we had frosty air and billions of starts. It was more typical for sky observation in the mountains. Virtually all sky was sparkling. I was standing in the cockpit and looking on this dome of stars and feel that everything is in balance: the Nature, the boat and my body and soul. It was very peaceful and I can feel an eternity. The ocean was smooth and “lazy”, boat traveling east at 3-4 knots, wind 5 knots which I can’t feel at all. We very surrounded by unusual mystical silence. It was just me, my boat and vast ocean that was flat like a pond and no sounds. Not roaring forties tune.

Time does not matter here. I think, was paying attention for distance sailed only for the first 3 weeks, but from Mid Pacific it seems like I have been living on the boat forever and only these 10 minutes sat phone sessions reminds me about other world.

In the morning the deck was covered in heavy dew - a promise for sunny day and indeed we had a period of sunshine but in the second half of the day – long altostratus clouds arrived and things become grey and windy. The night ahead will be sleepless as wind gets to 40-50 knots and after prolonged period of N-W it will rapidly shift from to S-W. That means we will have to fight against N-W swell.

I really don’t need rough weather and high seas here in the iceberg zone. I was hoping we can sneak with moderate winds and keep proper look out, but forecast suggested rain, squalls – visibility seriously affected.

Another unfortunate thing - ARGOS Tracking beacons batteries run out of power, again not very good time to be “invisible”. I want my shore crew to monitor boat progress 24 hours while we are sailing through these icy waters. Now they rely on my Sat C updates, for this I have to open lap top, down load data from boats GPS and MHU (mast head unit) and send it to the shore team and AC management. In the rough conditions – when they need it most – it is hard to operate with laptop.

Right now we are sailing in 25 knots of N-W winds and gradually building up. Ocean transforms very quickly and I will put on my dry suit and heavy weather boots. Time for hard work and cold showers. Regard, Fedor”

 

 



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27.03.2008

Two months in the Southern Ocean

61 day in the Southern Ocean Fedor Konyukhov on board Open 85 “Trading Network Alye Parusa” continues to sail inaugural Antarctica Cup race Track. Today the boat is in the middle of Southern Atlantic. 10.000 n. miles covered and 5.000 miles to Albany. On the 01 of February 2008 Fedor crossed 45 South and entered ACRT. Nearly 2 months in grueling and harsh environment of the Southern Ocean

Details

61 day in the Southern Ocean Fedor Konyukhov on board Open 85 “Trading Network Alye Parusa” continues to sail inaugural Antarctica Cup race Track. Today the boat is in the middle of Southern Atlantic. 10.000 n. miles covered and 5.000 miles to Albany. On the 01 of February 2008 Fedor crossed 45 South and entered ACRT. Nearly 2 months in grueling and harsh environment of the Southern Ocean. The boat experienced hurricane force winds, 15 meters waves, dozen icebergs, burned down autopilot, blown off B&G masthead unit, damaged main sail, damaged and then repaired rudder and now ahead of Alye Parusa a field of iceberg that threatens the boat safety and Fedor has to balance between race rules and safety of the boat.  

The yacht crossed 20 West – “Bellingshausen Gate” named after legendary Russian Commander and explorer who in 1820 first seen land of Antarctica.

Report from Fedor: “We are in the center of High Pressure, wind 5-10 knots and barometer jumped to 1034 Mb – this is first time I have it so high. The day is absolutely gorgeous: azure blue skies, sunshine, clear and frosty air, 1-2 meters waves. Very unusual for this area. Spent all day on deck. It was perfect day to inspect the boat and deck hardware. All is in good working order; the rudder tiller is holding firmly and looks solid. Very proud of my repairs. Run water maker for several hours and managed to produce 200 liters of fresh water. This will be enough for several weeks, or even to the finish. Keep sailing alongside 45 South but so far within the ACRT, the wind is now light but allow us to sail deep and stay on course without frequent gibes. A pack of dolphins was following the boat for several hours. It was a great day to remember. I would say it is typical “romantic” sailing, this is what most people would expect sailing on the yacht. It is hard to believe that in short period of time a wet blanket will be thrown at us and freezing cold conditions will take their place.  According to the forecast things will get back to normal in 18 hours 

28/12: WNW 20-25

28/18: NNW 30-35, gust 50; squalls  

29/00: WSW 35-40, gust 50

I hope the forecast won’t confirm this data. I really would like to stop this day and live it again. Regards, Fedor”

 



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26.03.2008

Temporary Rules Relaxation.

Code Red Iceberg Alert forces Temporary Rules Relaxation SECTORS 11 and 12 of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack are subject to a @@apos@@CODE RED@@apos@@ iceberg alert. Race control have issued a Temporary Rules Relaxation applicable to SECTORS 11 and 12 of the Racetrack and have instructed Fedor Konyukhov to adopt a Way Point of 44S, 10W which requires Fedor to sail outside the northern boundary (45S) of the OUTER LANE for a period of time.The next mandatory Way Point is 45S, 0W/0E (Prime Meridian). Fedor will not incur time penalties whilst sailing under these instructions

Details

Code Red Iceberg Alert forces Temporary Rules Relaxation SECTORS 11 and 12 of the Antarctica Cup Racetrack are subject to a @@apos@@CODE RED@@apos@@ iceberg alert. Race control have issued a Temporary Rules Relaxation applicable to SECTORS 11 and 12 of the Racetrack and have instructed Fedor Konyukhov to adopt a Way Point of 44S, 10W which requires Fedor to sail outside the northern boundary (45S) of the OUTER LANE for a period of time.
The next mandatory Way Point is 45S, 0W/0E (Prime Meridian). Fedor will not incur time penalties whilst sailing under these instructions. Race Control are anticipating arrival of more iceberg tracking data today to assist the monitoring of iceberg presence on the Racetrack and may issue further instructions at a later date.
Bob Williams
Chairman
Antarctica Cup Ocean Race
Antarctica Cup Management Pty Ltd



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25.03.2008

Fedor is getting close to the iceberg zone

Sat telephone session with Fedor Konyukhov 25 March 08, 0800 UTC:“You wouldn’t believe it but here at 47S in the South Atlantic Zone of the Racetrack it’s as cold as it was at 57S in the South Pacific Zone. I wonder what kind of temperature I would have experienced if I’d have stayed alongside the INSIDE LANE after Cape Horn? I’m sure I would have had to scrub the deck from ice. No surprise that this area is packed with icebergs – the water temperature is close to zero. With NW winds life is better – warmer air and moderate swell, but as soon as the wind shifts to SSW it is getting extremely cold

Details

Sat telephone session with Fedor Konyukhov 25 March 08, 0800 UTC:

“You wouldn’t believe it but here at 47S in the South Atlantic Zone of the Racetrack it’s as cold as it was at 57S in the South Pacific Zone. I wonder what kind of temperature I would have experienced if I’d have stayed alongside the INSIDE LANE after Cape Horn? I’m sure I would have had to scrub the deck from ice. No surprise that this area is packed with icebergs – the water temperature is close to zero.
With NW winds life is better – warmer air and moderate swell, but as soon as the wind shifts to SSW it is getting extremely cold. Its refrigerator cold and even 20 knots of wind creates an uncomfortable chill factor. Plus we are sailing late in the season. It’s the Austral Autumn season here and I can feel the difference.
It’s quite stressful knowing that there are icebergs around and even though I’ve not seen one – with the data provided by C-CORE it gives a very clear picture that from 30W to 15E – we will have to sail with great caution to avoid floating ice. I feel like I’m on a minefield – no room for mistake. In the night I try not think what is ahead of ‘Trading Network Alye Parusa’s’ bow. Because I’m telling you this now – it means I’m thinking of it. It’s in my head and it drives me crazy. It’s hard to switch to a different subject. 
I remember watching a Sir Peter Blake film about their round the world sailing on the ENZA catamaran. The title of the film was very laconically – “No Latitude for Error & No Good Calling for Mum”. Well, this is exactly the situation we are in now. We are in the Southern Atlantic Zone in the area of ‘relative inaccessibility’ from both South America and the South Africa MRCC with numerous confirmed icebergs passing through. 
We are 1000 miles from the Greenwich meridian – once we cross it – we are back in the Eastern Hemisphere – 118 degrees to Albany.  Regards, Fedor”.



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