Day 145

30 April 2019

It is 300 km as the crow flies to Chile, and 600 km to Cape Horn.

The expedition team met today with the captains of the chartered yachts at the port of Ushuaia.  We discussed various scenarios for meeting Fedor Konyukhov at Cape Horn.

Plan A is that we approach Cape Horn from the East and await Fedor to the leeward side of Horn Island. Plan B is to go West through the Beagle Canal and meet Fedor further North of Cape Horn.  We would prefer not to take Plan B, but we can’t discount it, for as they say: hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

As always, organising to intercept a boat or yacht in any of the world’s ports requires careful planning for every eventuality, especially in such remote places as the Port of Ushuaia – the most Southern port on the planet.  All of the captain’s and vessel’s documents are submitted in advance.  Besides standard procedures like immigration and customs, we are working on other issues such as where the boat will dock, how we will lift it out of the water, where we will store it, wash it, and dry it, as well as how we will load it into a container, etc.  We are already actively working on the issue of shipping the boat to England, to Rannoch Adventure’s shipyard for repair and maintenance.  An Argentine carpenter is making a keel block on which the rowboat “AKROS” will travel in its 40-foot container to Europe.  We are making a keel block which is similar to its English version thanks to the blueprints in our possession.

These are all pleasant tasks.  It is always more fun being a part of the welcome party than saying farewell.  Although Fedor only has 10 days until he reaches Cape Horn (give or take a day or two), it is also nice for him to think that his team and close friends and relatives aren’t 15,000 kilometres away in Moscow, but less than 10 degrees to the East and in the same time zone, experiencing the same weather.

For us, coming from the European spring into Subarctic autumn to the 55th Parallel has made it all the more clear what Fedor Konyukhov must be experiencing out in the Southern Ocean.  Of course, none of us fully understands how he survived these 145 days in a rowboat, but this morning when we arrived at the Yacht Club, the decks of the yachts were covered in snow, it was 0 degrees, and the air was icy, fogging our breath as we spoke outside.  We came out of a warm hotel and a massive breakfast, while Fedor spent last night in the ocean in a damp and frozen boat.

It is one thing when the team are in Moscow and we speak over the phone with Fedor from the other side of the world.  You have no concept of what it’s like.  But here I am standing at the same latitude and I can feel that out there, in the open ocean, my father has survived another cold night.  He is seeing the same snow and feeling the same biting wind.  I very much hope that the number of nights he spends in the ocean turns out to be fewer, and that we will see each other in a week by Cape Horn, and we can all return with our friendly flotilla to the hospitable city of Ushuaia.

You can have a closer look at the planning for the intercept and approach to Cape Horn in this video:

 

 

Oscar Konyukhov

Project Manager

Port of Ushuaia, Argentina, 54’50 south, 68’18 west

Present rowboat “AKROS” position coordinates are 54’32 south and 76’50 west

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