Fedor Konyukhov

Farewell to the Cold

First week leg 2 Falklands to Antigua.

We cast off our lines at 011:00 LT on Sunday the Twenty Second with as usual the wind building.  The inner and outer  harbor were now home to many many squid fishing boats as they call them down here but they look like ships to me.  Lonely faces along the deck I guess wondering where we had come from and where we were heading.  For these poor people on board these boats they, mostly Chinese desperate to provide for their families back home, can only look forward to extreme conditions both in weather and in work environment.  It was interesting to listen to the whispers from concerned locals of the human exploitation at the hands of the ships masters.  Only a few months before we arrived nine desperate men jumped with the few possessions they had into the freezing cold water in the port Stanley harbor.  Only two survived their attempt to gain freedom and yet the Falkland government although well aware of what is happening continue to issue fishing licenses to these ships.

As we motored out of the outer harbor we looked back for some of us may never ever return here.  The people have been fantastic and we now have many friends on the other side of the world but in particular I would like to mention the "crew" at the Seaman@@apos@@s mission.  Their hospitality and generosity will never be forgotten.  Anyone sailing into Stanley must meet these wonderful people and share the warmth and friendship that was extended to us all.   Quite remarkable people with such amazing energy and dedication providing a wonderful service to visiting seaman!

My crew for this trip is truly international.  Peter from Poland, Rene from Canada and Simon from New Zealand.  All have extensive sailing histories and I look forward to spending the next weeks ahead and sharing our sailing knowledge on our voyage to Antigua.

We headed North as the wind began to build from the North West.  Little did we know then that this breeze would be with us for the next one thousand miles.  In fact to be completely accurate the wind changed only once giving us the opportunity to gybe and then gybe again less than twelve hours later.  The wind has been quite amazing with the average between sixteen and twenty two knot.  On occasions we have had squalls to thirty but these have lasted only moments.  It is hard to believe that we have been on a Port tack for nearly this whole distance.

The other quite remarkable aspect is that we have had rain for only a few hours on the fourth night out of Stanley.

This morning as I type the air is rather dry.  The oil skins have been put away and Simon and myself are down to T Shirts and shorts.  The sea temperature has doubled since we left however as usual we are very aware that we are a long way from land so  the grumpy skipper still insists that all outside the cabin must wear an inflatable jacket and be clipped on at all times.  Perhaps in another thousand miles we might relax a little however safety is paramount.

We are now drawing alongside or should I say are seven hundred and thirty  nautical miles East of Banco Santa Lucia.  The night is perfect, not a cloud in the sky.  Well for a cruise ship this may be the case but for us the winds, as expected in this area, are dropping rapidly.  Tomorrow will bring very warm weather and cloudless skies.  Unfortunately the motor will need to be started for although each of us are enjoying this journey immensely we do have arrive in Antigua sooner than later.

38.03S 41.40W

3.29 GMT

Mark McRae