Fedor Konyukhov

Fedor Konyukhov crossed first gate alongside Antarctica Cup Race Track

Fedor crossed Gate 1 - DUMONT d@@apos@@URVILLE GATE at 2.01.00 UTC on 3rd February 08 to establish the inaugural record from the Start Line to Gate 1 with an elapsed time of 8 days 39 minutes and 20 seconds.

Radio Sched Evening 03 February 08 via Iridium Sat Phone

«All is well on board Alye Parusa. Today we crossed the first Gate on the Antarctica Cup Race Track – it is named after French navigator DUMONT d@@apos@@URVILLE. I read several books about DUMONT d@@apos@@URVILLE and his adventurers. When I planned my South Pole ski expedition in 1995 we even considered to use French Antarctic station “DUMONT d@@apos@@URVILLE” on the island as transition zone to the Russian Antarctic station on continent. The plan was to cross the Southern Ocean from Hobart to DUMONT d@@apos@@URVILLE station on board Russian Icebreaker Khlebnikov and then using helicopters to fly my equipment and my self to the Russian Polar station from where I could set off for solo unsupported ski expedition to the South Pole. Later we discovered that logistic costs could be very high and I went standard route: from Chilli (Punta Arenas) I took a flight on Hercules across Drake Passage to British Polar station “Patriot Hills” from I was transported to HerculesBay by snow scoters where I started on my solo unsupported ski trip to the South Pole.

It is very dark here on the 47 South. I even had to keep the light on in my nav. station during the day. There are several layers of clouds and some black clouds so low that they catching the top of my 110 ft mast. So there is no chance for the sun to break thought this blanket. Plenty of squalls and although wind is not strong, but it is very difficult to handle the sails when wind jumps from 12 knots to 25 and back to 10-12 knots. I have not seen stable wind flow from the start. One of good news - today we have calm seas, not like that day before when we climbed massive swell from S-S-E (from the direction the boat was going). It is getting cold and I don’t have thermometer on board, but on the galley I have sea water pump to wash things – today I hardly manage to wash plate and pot before my hands become very cold. My aluminum boat does not have any insulation and obviously there is not heater on board. So when I am very cold a winch grinder is the best exercise to warm up. Run watermaker for 30 minutes. It is working slowly and under pressure. Water is cold and salinity is very high. Have not seen any wild life, just empty Ocean, or maybe I have not look around properly. That was a typical day here in the Southern Ocean and there will be many days like this. This is part of life here and you accept all that Nature brings.