Fedor Konyukhov

Calm before the Storm

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”