Fedor Konyukhov

90 days at sea

Comments from weather router Lee Bruce:

“Fedor was wondering if he should@@apos@@ve sailed farther south a few days ago.  The chart for 24 Apr 18Z suggests that he would@@apos@@ve been in a very tough position, had he started out farther south in this northerly gale.  The north wind extends for more than 1800nm, from 30S to 58S!  So there was no option to escape it--only to try to limit its effect.

Fedor has been sailing about as fast as he has at any time since he left Albany, but my guess is that he@@apos@@s actually trying to slow the boat down, to limit the southing. And although he@@apos@@d like to sail more easterly, he@@apos@@s limited by the wave action.  It@@apos@@s a fine balance between protecting the boat and aiming for the finish.

Once the north wind moves through, conditions will become variable, and then there will be a risk of 40kt gust 50kt SW wind. Fedor is amazingly resilient, but my guess is that even he will be very glad when this is over!” 

Fedor’s speed in the relentless N wind has driven him well south, and he may push toward 51S before the wind shifts.

 25/00Z: N 40-45kt gust 50

25/12: NNW 30-35

25/18: variable NW to NE to SE 15; low/front nearby

26/00: NE 15kt

26/06: NNE to NNW 20-25

26/12: NW 15

26/18: W 30-35

27/00: WNW 25

Fedor’s shore team report:

Condition are tough and Fedor is doing his best to limit southing. His main concern is the boat  which is under enormous stress from massive swells that are crashing over  the stern threatening rudder tillers and all antennas (GPS, Sat-C, Iridium and etc)

His tactic is to sail with the wind and waves. Slowing the boat down is not the best option. Instead he is trying to keep the boat on a ‘safe’ angle to the waves, while at the same time, maintain some easterly heading and at the same time try to maintain eastern heading

Fedor has been living on tea and coffee without sleep for the past 24 The autopilots are working at their limit and he has to change them over every hour. We asked Fedor what he wish for at these circumstances, expecting to hear: better weather, fresh food or less cold. Instead, he said “one more person on board. I like it out here, but sometimes it is very hard to rely only on just yourself while keeping everything working and making decisions. It would be nice to share a cup of tea and a chat with someone else. We could push the boat and enjoy every aspects of the weather even these 50 knot Northerly winds. Perhaps next time!”

Regards, Fedor.     

Position: 50,0.53S , 83,27.25E
Speed: 10 knots, Course: 112 deg.
UTC Time: 25. April 2008 14:24
wind 25-30 kt N - FEDOR OK 

Distance traveled to date 14,350 nautical miles.