Fedor Konyukhov

Iceberg to starboard side.

This morning we received a Sat-C message from Fedor informing that he spotted large iceberg: Position: 54,5.11S , 133,14.69W
Speed: 8 knots, Course: 68 deg.
UTC Time: 25. February| 2008 16:45 GMT

Later during morning Sat phone session we got all the details: «On the sun rise, I just finished sat session with Moscow, the boat was on autopilot, wind 30 knots – I looked at stbd side hatch and spotted approximately 1 mile away massive iceberg. It is hard to scale things in the open ocean but looked like more then 2 miles in size, with table flat top. Clear white colour. I could see southern ocean swell crushing on to its western side. I managed to film the berg while we were sailing alongside. Once we overtook it, I switched to the cock-pit camera and film it at another angle. Overall 15 minutes of video footage. While was playing with video cameras, we narrowly missed 2 big chunks of ice – size of cottage. I only spotted them when they were 100 meters from cock-pit. If this will be a night time – this berg would be hard to see. I wonder if I missed other bergs during the night. 

Last Spring I had seen a lot of icebergs in Greenland. We had a Greenland crossing expedition on dog sleds and finished on the west coast at Illulisat village. This settlement is famous for it massive glacier and its Sound is full of bergs. It is considered that iceberg from Illulisat sank Titanic but if we put iceberg I have seen today – it will fill in the Illulisat Sound from shore to shore.

Now my “wolf sleep” will be more stressful, I will be thinking about my boat sailing in the night and what is ahead of it. We still have to sail 3 degrees south to round Cape Horn – another 180-200 miles closer to Antarctica.

Wind eased off and looks like we will have 48 hours of relatively light conditions. All the best. Fedor”

Forecast from Lee Bruce:

Another complicated weather pattern is in store for Fedor, so we can plan the short-term attack, but we need to remain flexible for the longer-term.  It wouldn’t matter as much if we didn’t have Cape Horn in the way!

So far, it looks like we may be able to avoid headwinds by steering toward 52S 110W, and the long-range outlook suggests that we will have enough opportunities to get south before reaching Cape Horn.  52S is farther north than I would prefer but the weather in the Southern Hemisphere is changeable in the extreme, so we can’t stay locked in a plan if presented with a different playing field.  At the end of the day, the idea is to keep Fedor moving as fast as we can, so we just need to focus on how to make that happen without causing problems down the course.

The forecast assumes an average heading of 070-085T through 27/00Z, toward 53S 125W.  

 26/00: SW to SSW 30-35kt

26/06: SSW 20-25

26/12: WSW 15-20

26/18: NW 15-20

27/00: Shifting from NNW 15, to WNW 15-20

27/06: WSW 20-25