One Man, One Boat, 4000 Miles!!!

Tropic 4 Cancer Trans Atlantic challenge is an expedition to sail single-handed 4000 miles across the Atlantic, from the western seaboard of Africa to Antigua. The route follows a defined course along the Tropic of Cancer, which is a circle of latitude running around the Earth at approximately 23 degrees north, and which marks the most northerly position at which the sun may appear directly overhead. Find Out More

Day 27 – Bedlam

Posted on November 29th, 2013

cabinThe last few days have been very hard work & extremely tiring for a number of reasons.

Firstly the weather, for 2 days the wind blew strongly, which made for good progress but is tough to live in. This was followed yesterday by a hugely frustrating day of inconsistent wind strength & direction. Massive clouds simply hoovered up the wind, and I was left slopping around in nothing. Then it would suddenly fill in at 20 knots, and we’d go zooming off again. Maddening!!

Secondly, it is really stressful!! As I get closer to Antigua, so the consequence of failure makes me ultra cautious of pushing too hard and breaking something (else!).

Thirdly, the wear & tear continues. This has affected my sleep, as my bed has been behaving badly!! I have a couple of air beds that I use. I developed a slow puncture in #1 bed very early on and gets flat in 2 hours, so have mainly been using #2. This has suddenly acquired a huge gut, and now resembles a blimp (internal structure seems to have split!). So I have one bed with too much air, and one with not enough!! The problem with #2 is that it’s like trying to go sleep on a space hopper. I kind of drape myself over it, but the bumpy motion of the waves is exaggerated by the bed – slightly behind the boat’s movement – so that I end up gyrating like a loony! #1 is just uncomfortable. As a result I have not had much sleep!! Hopefully I’ve fixed #1′s puncture now! The blimp is joining the white spinnaker in the naughty corner.

I’ve also broken my wireless router which means email access is limited. The inverter has stopped working properly, so I tried to wire the router in more directly. Now I’m not that competent with electrics, but I know enough. I’m confident that when a piece of electrical kit goes pop and starts producing smoke, it probably means it is kaput. I’ve got a backup! I can run emails through the Yellow Brick tracker – which is the most amazing bit of kit – and shows you my position on the website. Highly recommend one if you’re doing any sort of remote travel, event, or simply want to let people know where you are!! Thank you to Nick and the team for your support.

The VHF antenna has also suddenly adopted a horizontal position at the top of the mast – the result of a very nasty squall we had. It looks a bit odd, but is still working!

Less than 500 miles to go now. Must hurry up and get there before anything else breaks!


Today’s thank you goes to Arthur Phillips, Michael Austin, Anthony Harnden, Steve & Laura Davies & Family, Susie Pollard, Robert & Robyn Dawson & Family and Mr M Lacey. Thank you all so much for your very kind donations!