Southern Ocean Voyage
Waterbird ready to go
I am about to leave for my Southern ocean voyage. Waterbird is much more seaworthy than before and I believe I have done everything to be able to sail in the stormiest latitudes on the planet.
I will be heading for Antarctic peninsula area (south of south America). It will take approximately two month.
It would be nice to receive some news from you during the long solitary sailing. You can send short text messages to my webmaster firstname.lastname@example.org and he will forward it via satellite phone Iridium to me. It's for safety reason, because of eventual spamming. Unfortunately I am not able to send messages from my phone (it is an old model which is able to receive sms only) but I will reply as soon as I am online.
I am not able to update my website www.polarka.com and this email is the last one for many month. Some news sent by a satellite phone might appear online during the voyage but there will be no announcement in your email.
The news are:
- I spent 6 weeks improving my boat: plywood covers over the hatches and windows and steel bars reinforcement from inside, reinforced rigging and adding extra wire to it, putting a new custom made staysail for the extreme conditions (the heaviest Dacron available), repair and reinforcement in the selfsteering bearing, tiller reinforcement, radar, SSB, parachute anchor, ice guard around the propeller, building my own heater using my camping stove and lot of stainless steel radiators, bus heater (working with the engine), low shelter over the cockpit made of rail pipes, inside steering, extra insulation, regular maintenance and many other smaller projects. The boat should survive capsize without taking much water.
- I did not have much time to see New Zealand. I will do it when I come back. (What I have seen was so fantastic that I have to come back.) I have noticed that it is a country of boats. It seems that people are here to keep them nice and sailing. The good thing is that their interest does not end at their own rubrails. I was given a lot of help by a lot of people and I appreciate it very much. I would not be able to make the boat ready this summer in any other country.
- I broke my front tooth using a hammer. Actually the mean tool did it... A dentist in Tauranga made an excelent job and the new tooth looks better than the old one. I am pretty for the penguins again:-). I appreciate that the dentist himself was the only one who did not laugh when I said that I have tried to glue the broken piece back (it was an epoxy piece from ten years old injury). What glue did you use?, he asked. Underwater epoxy. (I have bought it long time ago to keep my old sailing boat floating).
- I am very tired because I have been working almost 16 hours a day for many weeks but I am also very happy that my trip become possible. I will be sailing in about 4 hours and it looks I am going to have some rest in the roaring forties :-)
Take care and stay in touch
37°40'S, 176°10'E, 17.12. 2008