Just Over the Horizon!
Actually we have just under one hundred and ninety nautical miles until we throw our lines in Port Stanley. The locals we have been speaking with all seem rather excited about a yacht such as ours visiting their port.
Their excitement however pails into insignificance compared to the excitement of the crew. Already they have planned and selected the youngest crew member to run as fast as possible, after customs clearance, to the nearest hamburger store. We are pushing her along as fast as we can at the moment on a course not directly to Port Stanley but I do hope for the crews sake we arrive at a respectful hour tomorrow. My thoughts are that it will probably be between midday and Four O@@apos@@clock Falklands time (GMT - 3hrs) which should provide time for a nice hot shower a change of clothes, the first time for many of us, and a nice meal.
The conditions at the moment, even though our heading isn@@apos@@t perfect, are fantastic. The cloud cover is lite and we may get some nice sunshine over the next few hours which may enable us to dry her out. Condensation is always an issue with this type of alloy construction but nothing that a few warm hours won@@apos@@t fix.
Our sail past the island named "Isla De Los Estados was simply lovely. This is a massive Island with very little vegetation. We passed within just a mile of her sailing along side for several hours. The highest peak on this island is more than three thousand feet high. The terrain is extremely rugged with massive pointy outcrops of stone pointing to the heavens. At the North Eastern corner however there are some flats with some type of grass and some small shrubs. At times most of the peaks were shrouded in clouds but every so often the sun would shine through revealing spectacular colors. Very similar to what you would expect to see in Northern Scotland. As we passed by I was standing right at the bow and on several occasions wondered if anyone had ever tried living on such a desolate place.
The reason I was at the bow was to keep a lookout for kelp. As we approached this Island we saw "massive" clumps with some of the pieces eight to ten meters long. The last thing we wanted was to have some of this wrapped around our keel or worse still around one of our rudders. We decided that this kelp is possibly the type referred to often as the sea forest.
As night settled in we observed several fishing boats. This area, the Burdwood Bank, is quite shallow with the water going from a depth of four thousand meters to forty four meters in a matter of a few miles. It is rich in seafood with fishing boats from all over the world coming here to fill their hold. The other aspect is that this area attracts many sea birds and in particular Albatross. Often over the miles we see perhaps two or three at one time but here they are in groups of eight and ten often more.
We have now been at sea for over thirty two days. Nothing when compared to the Volvo guys however to us it has been quite an adventure. Of course for Fedor this time at sea is like a drop in the ocean. More and more every day the crew appreciate, understand and acknowledge the amazing journeys Fedor has undertaken.
My next report should be from Port Stanley!