Fedor Konyukhov
enru
25.02.2008

Fedor fighting third storm in the row.

From 24 of February maxi yacht “Trading Network Alye Parusa” is riding third powerful storm in the Southern Pacific. According to the forecast from Lee Bruce:  “25/00Z: WSW 45-50kt gust 6025/06: SW 40-50”Fedor in his Sat-C messages also reporting wind up to 60 knots: “Position: 54,0.86S , 137,12.24WSpeed: 15 knots, Course: 110 deg.UTC Time: 25. February| 2008 00:56wind 50-60 kt  W S W  FEDOR” Quote from Fedor: “During my previous circumnavigations in Southern Pacific – this vast Ocean was always kind to me and I was hoping we get smooth run this time, but it seems Pacific would like to prove that he can be violent and “un-pacific”

Details

From 24 of February maxi yacht “Trading Network Alye Parusa” is riding third powerful storm in the Southern Pacific. According to the forecast from Lee Bruce:  

“25/00Z: WSW 45-50kt gust 60

25/06: SW 40-50”

Fedor in his Sat-C messages also reporting wind up to 60 knots:

“Position: 54,0.86S , 137,12.24W
Speed: 15 knots, Course: 110 deg.
UTC Time: 25. February| 2008 00:56
wind 50-60 kt  W S W 

FEDOR” 

Quote from Fedor:

“During my previous circumnavigations in Southern Pacific – this vast Ocean was always kind to me and I was hoping we get smooth run this time, but it seems Pacific would like to prove that he can be violent and “un-pacific”. We are riding from one storm into another with only 24 hours pause. Even during these 24 hours – you can’t rest as with 20 knots of wind you have to negotiate 10 meters swell – leftovers from previous Low. In these conditions you simply can not work with the sail properly and when at last sea state become cooperative – we get another powerful turbulence.   

Riding current storm, I look into 7 days forecast that suggested massive Low going across our heading from N-W to S-E by 01 of March. There are not many options left for us to negotiate new Low. By that time I hope to be 1.000 miles to Cape Horn and my only choice will be to head into Drake Passage – regardless the weather.  

Right now we have 2.000 miles to Cape Horn.

Regards, Fedor”



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23.02.2008

Fedor is heading into another area of Low pressure

Sat Session with Fedor“All if fine on board our hardworking yacht “Trading Network Alye Parusa”. For the past 12 hours we were sailing in the wind 40+ knots gusting 50 knots. The ocean surface is white and driven by strong winds. It seems that westerly flow will stay strong all the way to Cape Horn which is 2.500 miles ahead. The forecast shows strong Low just N-E-E of us moving fast East. We are using the back wind of this Low and plan to hold on to this system as long as we can. It is favourable situation for me, as there is no chance that Low will pass over my boat, like what happened 4 days ago

Details

Sat Session with Fedor

“All if fine on board our hardworking yacht “Trading Network Alye Parusa”. For the past 12 hours we were sailing in the wind 40+ knots gusting 50 knots. The ocean surface is white and driven by strong winds. It seems that westerly flow will stay strong all the way to Cape Horn which is 2.500 miles ahead. The forecast shows strong Low just N-E-E of us moving fast East. We are using the back wind of this Low and plan to hold on to this system as long as we can. It is favourable situation for me, as there is no chance that Low will pass over my boat, like what happened 4 days ago.  

The wind becomes S-S-W bringing even colder air from Antarctica. I think it is close to 0 C now, but I don’t have a thermometer on board. Spotted a pack of whales moving North.

Using radar to spot icebergs and had one situation when it looked like solid reflected surface. At position of 54,6 S and 149,15W during this night and I bared away few degrees until we cleared this dot on the screen. Definitely something was floating there. We have S-W winds for prolonged period of time there is a risk of an iceberg being blown to 54 South. From now on to 57 South – Cape Horn the chances to sea icebergs are quite high.

Fried on pan last 3 “Barn eggs from Albany”. That was tasty reminder of quality food you enjoy on dry land. From now on – dry food, rice, spaghetti and some fish tins. I not very big fan of freeze-dry food. I ate it a lot during Seven Summits climbs and trips to the North and South Poles. It is light but not very tasty, but when you pulling 140 kg sled to the South Pole – every gram does matter. Since I am sailing on maxi boat with according to the boat registration papers “56 tons Gross tonnage” – I can have some tins and cans as it will not affect boat performance. I grilled chicken would be best meal for me today.

Regards, Fedor

 



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21.02.2008

There is less then 3.000 miles left to Cape Horn.

All is fine on board “Trading Network Alye Parusa”, we are sailing East at 10-12 knots towards Cape Horn. There is less then 3.000 miles left to Horn – sounds like a Transatlantic distance and does not look as far-far away. For now, I would like to stay in the middle of the Antarctica Cup Race Track around 52-53 South. It is interesting to see how Cape Horn will meet us. It will be quite unusual not to round and go up, but to continue due East towards Australia. I know it is full Moon now, but we keep sailing in complete darkness

Details

All is fine on board “Trading Network Alye Parusa”, we are sailing East at 10-12 knots towards Cape Horn. There is less then 3.000 miles left to Horn – sounds like a Transatlantic distance and does not look as far-far away. For now, I would like to stay in the middle of the Antarctica Cup Race Track around 52-53 South. It is interesting to see how Cape Horn will meet us. It will be quite unusual not to round and go up, but to continue due East towards Australia.

I know it is full Moon now, but we keep sailing in complete darkness. Several layers of clouds and constant rain-drizzle with frequent portions of snow make it is very unpleasant to work in the cock-pit.

All my gear is wet and I can only change one wet jacket to another which “dry out” for 2-3 hours on the hook in my cabin. It is wet on deck as it is wet inside. Condensation is everywhere. Sleeping bag feels like it was washed but has not been dried out. I have several sleeping bags and this helps a lot. I wish I have 10 of them. With the rolling seas we have now, I can even think to open the hatch on deck for ventilation. Here in the Southern Ocean you always fight something. Now when the storm passed, I am fighting the cold. I have to put plastic bags onto my feet in order to keep them warm and not to lose body temperature. Obviously hat and gloves are on. Basically you are sailing inside of the refrigerator.

Alongside Antarctica Cup Race Track – storms can be violent and massive, but they come and go and can live with that, but never-ending cold is the major problem. I am single-handed sailor and allow using autopilot, but future entrant for AC fully - crewed boats will have to spend 24 hours on deck in similar conditions and I doubt that they will have heater or carbon hull is warmer then aluminum hull. Equipment and working gear should be very well planned and selected.      

Let’s hope we will safely reach Albany and I can present a list of my recommendation to the future participants in Antarctica Cup Ocean Race. Fighting the cold will be number 1 on my list.

Warm regards from freezing Southern Pacific – Fedor Konyukhov

Position: 52,48.26S , 158,58.59W
Speed: 9 knots, Course: 93 deg.

 



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19.02.2008

Sat-C report from Fedor

According to Sat-C report 20 February at 10:00Perth time Fedor is sailing in 30 knots of wind from W-S-W. Boat heading is 090-110. Barometer is rising and sky is clearing up. Massive waves still threatening and Fedor will have to increase sails area in order to sail in the rhythm with waves. Fedor reported that a part from broken B&G masthead unit – the boat is in good shape and performed very well during 60 hours of storm. He is hoping to get some sleep get things back to normal routine

Details

According to Sat-C report 20 February at 10:00Perth time Fedor is sailing in 30 knots of wind from W-S-W. Boat heading is 090-110. Barometer is rising and sky is clearing up. Massive waves still threatening and Fedor will have to increase sails area in order to sail in the rhythm with waves. Fedor reported that a part from broken B&G masthead unit – the boat is in good shape and performed very well during 60 hours of storm. He is hoping to get some sleep get things back to normal routine.

Boat position: 52,21.77S , 162,40.35W
Speed: 8 knots, Course: 111 deg.

Weather forecast from Lee Bruce

“Improvement ahead!

 Through 20/12Z: WSW 30-40kt

21/00: WSW 25-30

21/06: W 20-25

21/12: W 25-30”



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18.02.2008

Sat session with Fedor Konyukhov

“It looks like we are in the eye of storm, the wind dropped to 40 knots and I sky clear up so that I can see some stars! It was such a nice surprise. Although Lee Bruce saying – it is only temporary as storm is passing over and we will soon end up on another side of the Low. Fist lost from the start: B&G mast head unit is gone. Not working. It is ether damaged by the wind or by mast vibration and stress. Right now I can’t see the top of the mast. I will check tomorrow using a binocular if impeller is still in place. Will continue on Raymarine masthead unit

Details

“It looks like we are in the eye of storm, the wind dropped to 40 knots and I sky clear up so that I can see some stars! It was such a nice surprise. Although Lee Bruce saying – it is only temporary as storm is passing over and we will soon end up on another side of the Low. Fist lost from the start: B&G mast head unit is gone. Not working. It is ether damaged by the wind or by mast vibration and stress. Right now I can’t see the top of the mast. I will check tomorrow using a binocular if impeller is still in place. Will continue on Raymarine masthead unit. It was a backup system with basic functions, not so advanced as B&G but it is better then nothing.  

The waves are not normal waves they are small hills with white foamy rollers traveling at high speed. I try to keep them at 120 angles to the boat. This is the safest way to sail with them. Each wave is 100 meters away from each other – perfect for surfing and I have 25 meters surfing board. If we catch the wave – we are running down at 15-16 knots, otherwise we are climbing on top of the long swell. Overall conditions are similar to what we prepared for and boat performed quite well.

While we have a pause with the wind – it is time to put kettle on and get some hot meal. Needless to say that we are in cold front and everything is frozen here, plus we often get snowy squalls. My only source of warmth – is mug of coffee.

Regards to all.

Fedor.

 



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18.02.2008

Latest update from Fedor via Sat-C terminal:

Position: 52,31.70S, 171,34.67WSpeed: 9 knots, Course: 97 deg.UTC Time: 18. February 2008 08:47wind  50-55  kt  W-S-W Very sad to hear that Groupama capsized. I know most of the crew personally and sailed with Yves Parlier in Vendee Globe 2000. Before it was good to know that there are other guys sailing in the Southern Ocean waters, but not any more. Thanks God all crew is unhurt and got to the rescue vessels. Here at 52 South it is very harsh conditions, with winds 50-55 knots, gusts up to 65 knots and monstrous seas. Some of the waves are half of my 110 ft mast. Difficult to breath on deck when you standing against the wind

Details

Position: 52,31.70S, 171,34.67W
Speed: 9 knots, Course: 97 deg.
UTC Time: 18. February 2008 08:47
wind  50-55  kt  W-S-W 

Very sad to hear that Groupama capsized. I know most of the crew personally and sailed with Yves Parlier in Vendee Globe 2000. Before it was good to know that there are other guys sailing in the Southern Ocean waters, but not any more.

Thanks God all crew is unhurt and got to the rescue vessels.

Here at 52 South it is very harsh conditions, with winds 50-55 knots, gusts up to 65 knots and monstrous seas. Some of the waves are half of my 110 ft mast. Difficult to breath on deck when you standing against the wind. The main sail is completely down lashed to the boom. I have 1/3 of the stay-sail and boat is going at 10 knots, surfing 15 knots from the waves. Very rough but boat is holding Ok and conditions are working. Fedor.



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17.02.2008

Fedor entered Western Hemisphere

This night maxi yacht “Trading Network Alye Parusa” crossed Latitude 180 East and entered into Western Hemisphere. The boat will sail in WH across 2 Oceans: Pacific and Atlantic until she crosses Greenwich Meridian. 180E also marked Gate # 4 on the Antarctica Cup Race Track. Sat session with Fedor 17 Feb 09:00 Perth time. “We already are getting the breath of the storm. Cold wind 30+ knots from the S-W and confused sea. I tried to sleep this night for at least 2 hours, but could only nap for 30-40 minutes as wind was gradually increasing and shifting from SS-E to SS-W so I had to spend some time in the cock-pit

Details

This night maxi yacht “Trading Network Alye Parusa” crossed Latitude 180 East and entered into Western Hemisphere. The boat will sail in WH across 2 Oceans: Pacific and Atlantic until she crosses Greenwich Meridian.

180E also marked Gate # 4 on the Antarctica Cup Race Track.

Sat session with Fedor 17 Feb 09:00 Perth time.

“We already are getting the breath of the storm. Cold wind 30+ knots from the S-W and confused sea. I tried to sleep this night for at least 2 hours, but could only nap for 30-40 minutes as wind was gradually increasing and shifting from SS-E to SS-W so I had to spend some time in the cock-pit. To sleep - here means you are sitting in the nav. station bank, fully geared up with your boots, hat on, harness on and always ready to run into the cock-pit. Plus I set Alarm clock in order not to fall into deep sleep. I have to change the Raymarine autopilots every 2 hours, in order to cool them down and reduce wear and tear on such trip. So you never get more then 2 hours of rest and in the weather like now - 30 minutes of nap is may be what you get for 6 hours on watch.

This morning cooked rice with dry fruits. This was my hot meal for today and perhaps for next 48 hours. Filled in both thermoses with hot water this should be enough for today.

The rest is busyness as usual. I forgot to mention that it is drizzle or rain in squalls, but I guess it is not news any more. Fedor. Position: 52, 00S - 178,22.W”

Forecast from Lee Bruce (Tactical Weather)

17/00-06: Becoming WSW 30-35

17/06-12: Becoming WSW 35-40 gust 45

17/12-18/06: WSW 35-40 gust 45

18/06-19/06: WSW 45-50 gust 60

19/12-20/00: WSW 30-35

Waves should gradually increase, with max of 12-13m, occasional 14-16m from about 18/09Z-19/12Z.

This is wave chart is based on the Significant Wave Height, which is the average of the highest one-third of the combined swell and wind waves; some waves will be higher, which is why I added a forecast of occasional waves to 16m (52.5ft)”. 

 



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16.02.2008

Fedor is in for some rough weather no matter what.

Forecast from Lee Bruce (Tactical Weather)Here@@apos@@s a wave chart that shows Fedor@@apos@@s projected position for 18/12Z.  It is likely that there will be changes to that in coming days, but this chart may be of interest in that it shows the basic concern for Fedor....If we assume that Fedor will be forced E or ESE as the wind increases from the SW and WSW, the exposure to 35+kt wind should be from 17/06Z to 19/12Z

Details

Forecast from Lee Bruce (Tactical Weather)

Here@@apos@@s a wave chart that shows Fedor@@apos@@s projected position for 18/12Z.  It is likely that there will be changes to that in coming days, but this chart may be of interest in that it shows the basic concern for Fedor....

If we assume that Fedor will be forced E or ESE as the wind increases from the SW and WSW, the exposure to 35+kt wind should be from 17/06Z to 19/12Z. Within that time block, the worst should be from 17/12Z through about 18/18Z.

 Based on a point at 51S 172W (about 18 Feb 06Z), the maximum wave model forecast is 11.5m, occasionally 15m.  But that is based on a wind forecast of 35kt gust 45kt, and I think that is too light for this system. So, 12m occasional 15m should be the minimum, with a risk of higher waves for the 36-hr period of 17/12-19/12Z.

 We can adjust this as subsequent forecasts come in, but it seems that Fedor is in for some rough weather no matter what.

 16/00-06Z-SE/ESE 13-18kt, becoming variable <10kt

16/06-12: Becoming SW 10-15

16/12-18: Becoming SW to WSW 25-30

16/18-17/06: WSW 25-30, becoming WSW 25-40 gust 50

17/06-18/18: Becoming WSW 40-45 gust 55-60

18/06-18/18: 45-50 gust 65

Gradually decreasing after 19/00Z

 Lee

 



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13.02.2008

Getting ready for the big storm

Getting ready for the big stormAccording to the forecast from Lee Bruce in several days Fedor will experience heavy weather and massive waves. The storm will cover all Southern Ocean from Antarctica to New Zealand. Lee Bruce: “Over the coming five days, Fedor will trade frustrating light and variable wind for 40-50kt and huge waves.The low initially moves ENE at 20kt for 16-18 Feb--at a latitude of 65S to 62S, then slows and intensifies, and then accelerates again

Details

Getting ready for the big storm

According to the forecast from Lee Bruce in several days Fedor will experience heavy weather and massive waves. The storm will cover all Southern Ocean from Antarctica to New Zealand.

Lee Bruce:

“Over the coming five days, Fedor will trade frustrating light and variable wind for 40-50kt and huge waves.

The low initially moves ENE at 20kt for 16-18 Feb--at a latitude of 65S to 62S, then slows and intensifies, and then accelerates again. So it is a fluid pattern, and we are looking out toward the far reaches of reliability in the forecast.  But the outlook has been consistent in presenting gale SW wind across the entire Antarctica Cup Race Track from north to south. 

I feel that we should be preparing for many hours of sustained 45-50kt or more, with gusts to 60kt or more.  Because Fedor will be moving east with the wind field, he may be in wind above 40kt for 48 hours.  It looks like the wind returns to a more normal 20+kt SW-to-NW pattern after the low.

Being a degree or two north of Fedor@@apos@@s current position may reduce, by several hours, the total time exposed to the worst wind, but it won@@apos@@t keep him out of it.

The 15 meters wave possibility should not occur the whole time, and some of that height will be as a long-period swell (12-15 seconds).  Still the conditions are not to be taken lightly.  Heights of 12 meters should be common.

 The high wind speed plus a long fetch as the low moves toward the ENE could aid in the development of some waves that would be much, much higher - rogue waves.  Of course, we can@@apos@@t predict them and Fedor can@@apos@@t do anything about one.

Lee

Quote from Fedor:

“It is raining non stop here. I have 1 reef on the main sail is full of rain water. I think may be 300 liters in the sail pocket. The wind still light but it looks we will have strong wind in 3 days time. Once stronger wind will fill in from N-W, I will try to come up North to set up for heavy weather, but forecast shows this Low pressure with very wide borders and will go beyond 50S. That means it will hit us even if we sail 2-3 degrees up. In the coming Low wind should be from S-W and 10-12 meters waves from S-S-W I think we can sail due east alongside Race Track. All is well on board. Getting ready for the bad weather: checked all lines, sheets, pins and split pins for the front stays and shrouds.   

Fedor”

 



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12.02.2008

Sat session with Fedor Konyukhov 08:00 Perth Time

“Good morning. Just to give you a brief update on the things here in the Southern Pacific. We had 30 knots of wind with gust up to 40 knots all night and sailed east-south-east. Conditions were good. The night passed smooth.  Yesterday we passed south of MacquarieIsland. I did not see it due to the poor visibility, but ocean was full of dolphins, little penguins, whales and coastal birds. A “Hercules” airplane flew over due north, making a lot of noise. I think they seen my boat, because they changed their course. I have marine VHF but they are using different frequency on the planes. No voice contact was made

Details

“Good morning. Just to give you a brief update on the things here in the Southern Pacific. We had 30 knots of wind with gust up to 40 knots all night and sailed east-south-east. Conditions were good. The night passed smooth. 

Yesterday we passed south of MacquarieIsland. I did not see it due to the poor visibility, but ocean was full of dolphins, little penguins, whales and coastal birds. A “Hercules” airplane flew over due north, making a lot of noise. I think they seen my boat, because they changed their course. I have marine VHF but they are using different frequency on the planes. No voice contact was made. I guess they are flying from South Pole Antarctica to New Zealand (Christchurch). That is why on the South Pole polar station they live under New Zealand time. 

We are sailing on edge of 55 South. The most southerly point we got was 56’30 South and the cold was very serious there. My lap tops have LCD monitors and they change colors, to funny blue. When N-W winds came we are sailing in the warmer front, these winds brought warmer air and I took off several layers of cloths.

Again this night was enlightened by Southern polar light. Fantastic view. Curtains of polar lights were falling down and rising up. It was very impressive and it was light enough to work in the cock-pit without head light.

It is hard to believe, but in 24 hours in the area of 56 -57 South we will have another light wind area. I have periods of calm weather with winds below 10 knots every 3 days. Forecast suggests better wind below 57 south, but I don’t want to go below Cape Horn Latitude at this early stage. We have limited data about this season iceberg location and it is risky to sailed deeper South. Perhaps we will get 10 more knots of wind but increase chances of iceberg contact. I would like to stay here on the 55 South, it gives optimal mileage for the Antarctica Cup Race Track, I can come up North to 50 South to avoid heavy weather and it gives good angle for Cape Horn approach. 

Fedor”  

 

Forecast from Lee Bruce:

“The medium-range forecast suggests that a WP of 57S 173E is best for now.  But a front on the 13th/14th may bring light and variable wind. We will have to watch subsequent forecasts to see if that is a reliable scenario.

12/00Z: N to NNW 30-40 gust 45

12/06: NW 20-30

12/12: NW 15-20

12/18: NW 10-15

13/00: variable near front”

 



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