Voicememo update Mark #9

2018 December 3rd | Golden Globe Race

Hello everyone, here’s an update from me about the past days. The Cape is rounded, I am on my way home. I was mega racing these past few days, for sure I sailed full throttle to the cape. But it all went perfect until just before I arrived at the Cape. Eventually I wanted to be at the continental shelfs (where it goes from 2000 meters to 70 meters deep) before I had that heavy wind but that did not work out. So I was at the continental shelfs when I had the heavy wind. So it was scary but also super cool at the same time. Because I was sailing super-fast.
I think the boat got speeds of 15-20 knots from time to time. For sure I was surfing the waves. I was really busy and full of adrenaline, I was outside and that busy that I forgot to put on less sail. So I ruined my staysail.  It’s completely torn apart. Fortunately, I have a lot of stuff with me yo make repairs. But yes it was that cool, that I decided to continue like this for a while.

So when i changed the sail and stepped outside the cabin I thought ’wow, a lot of seagulls overhere’ And then suddenly I looked behind me. There was a huge fishing boat only 200 meters behind me. A very big fishing boat. He paged me on the VHF in panic. He spoke broken English. Finally, after a lot of talking he turned out to be panicking because of me.  He said 'Such a weather for a small boat, this is a storm' So I said 'I cannot help it, this is a storm and I just have to go through '. We were talking for a while and then someone else came who was better in speaking English. So I talked with him for a while. He was very enthusiastic, so that was very nice. It was super nice.  

Actually, when I was sailing above a small island the wind decreased. I think I only had 50-60 knots of wind for maybe 6 hours. And then the wind decreased to comfortably 30-35 knots and it slowly became 25 knots. And when I rounded Cape Horn there was no wind. Unfortunately, It was dark. I could not take a picture; it was in the middle of the night and I thought I would just go on. I have someone to catch up with you know. So that went well and the next morning when I got to the Cape I had wind from the North,  North-Northwest. The next day it was building up to 35 knots but again it happened very fast. So I was sailing close to the wind and suddenly it was a lot of wind, so I missed my staysail. I'm still working on that; it takes three days of work. So, I could not sail too high, I had to sail with three reefs in my mainsail and a storm jib to the wind. When the wind came, the wind changed quickly to the West and Southwest

So, within 6-8 hours I actually sailed broad reach, very nice. Meanwhile, while enjoying a few killer whales next to the boat and dolphins. Black and white dolphins, I've never seen them before. They look like little baby killer whales. I also had a lot of penguins around the boat. I saw big penguins, a few sea lions and a few white dolphins. So, it was busy over there.
And then, strange enough, I came across another boat again. I had a very good conversation with them. A long nice conversation. First I called and asked for my position, I told them that I am an entrant in the Golden Globe Race, I do not have a GPS and I would like to know my position. Then I got someone who was very nice and who gave my position. And then 10 minutes later I was called by the captain 'Are you Mark Slats? Are you Mark Slats? ". Yes, that's me. They checked the Golden Globe Race website on the internet. We had a two hours’ conversation about anything and everything. I asked them to send an e-mail to Don with my code and I asked them to send an e-mail to my mom. Supercool.  The guy couldn’t believe what we are doing in this race. He was sailing on a big ship of more than 300 meters or so and said: 'We never sailed on rough sea of 8 meters and more’. Strange when you consider that we go into the rough sea with 36ft boats and they do everything to avoid 8 meters of sea.

 Well, when I sailed North I had the idea that I was more than 10 miles from Staten Island but I came really close which was very annoying. I got very strong currents over there, very rough sea. But fortunately, it lasted for only two hours or so. It was like the Canal above the north of France, but here it was for two hours. The boat was smashing and banging with very little wind. But I still went well ahead, so that was good. The wind vane was still working very well so that’s nice.
And now, now I'm going up North... I made a choice, but right now I have easterly winds, then I get northern winds and later I got wind from the west. So I just have to wait and see what I'm going to do and then I'll make a decision.  Talk to you soon, Bye Bye!

Photo by Toby Schrapel