Lat: 55 19.61′ S
Long: 71 12.74′ W
Inst Speed: 9.1
Wind Dir: 241
Wind Speed: 8.3000
Distance last 24hr: 327.0
Distance to finish: 9021.83
Cape Horn through the rigging
It’s hard to take your eyes off it
Mobi’s third visit

Email from the boat to shore: 

From: OmanTri
To: update
Subject: tuesday morning
Date: 17/02/2009 03:30:51

We are within 140 nm of the most famous stormy place in the world and are
practically becalmed. The wind has been dropping for the last 8 hours or so,
and now well after darkness has fallen we are ghosting along in 4 kts of
wind from the SW.approx 16nm from land as we head in a SE direction down the
coast towards Cape Horn. We have had the gennaker up for the last 7 hours as
we trickle downwind, after sailing most of the day in a lightening breeze we
made it from 2 reefs and staysail to genoa and full mainsail, at times the
sun shone too… and in one of these periods Theirry was able to spot land –
way off 30nm in the distance we could just see Ille Noir some of the many
thousands of islands that make up this strange land. Its been great to spend
a little bit of time with the electronic charts close up on Cape Horn, and
see what a fantastic place to explore this is, with many inlets, chanels,
and islands it’s easy to see how people are drawn to the area – many of
these inlets and islands are named after the crews who came here for the
first time, Williamson, Hardy,Gordon,Stewart,London etc.

The wind should fill in after 6 UTC from the west and should carry us
quickly the last miles towards the Horn, and if it does we should be there
in the daylight which will be fantastic, just gotta hope the fog keep off,
as that is the other problem that can blight the area! keep your fingers
crossed for us though.

As if by magic our arrival at cape horn has coinsideded with food bag 40,
and there seems to have been a health overdose of good things in day 40’s
bag – M&Ms, Chocolate Bars, Custard&Apples – all to good to be true, and to
supplement that some of the shore crew had packed a little celebration food,
which we’re about do dig out, I think we are in for some nuts, and other
treats…so we are fairly sure it’ll be a memorable day.

Mohsin is excited too as he is speaking to the school of his Nephews later
today, so it’s a chance for him to test their knowledge of our trip, and of
the geography we have sailed past, and still have to sail before returning
to Muscat. I can’t think of a better way to learn about the great
explorers, who established routes around the world, than to talk to a modern
day explorer live from one of the most remote headlands in the world.

The area is of course steeped in history, some of it legend, some of it
myth, but all of it well deserved, and it’s hard not to make this final
approach without thinking a bit about the wrecks there must be from olden
sailing merchant ships that had to pass this way to earn their living,
carrying goods, or hunting whales. The meeting of two great oceans in a gap
barely 500nm wide, it’s great to be approaching it in such light airs,
giving us a chance to spare a thought or two for those that have passed this
way before- both recently, with the Vendee Globe fleet, and working
backwards through other round the world record breaking passages, and races
that have inspired us to come here, the original Jules Verne record breaker,
a catamaran just 5′ longer sailed by 5 people I think too, the early
Whitbread Round the World Races, and the later ones who were able to send
back video and audio reports. I can certainly remember being inspired by the
likes of Peter Blake who skippered Steinlager II in the 89-90 Whitbread
race, who talked so enthusistically about the southern ocean and the cape.
I hope there are people in Oman watching Mohsin pass this point and saying
to themselves, one day i’d like to go there, to pass Cape Horn, to sail in
the southern ocean. In 140miles time Mohsin will be in the club, and become
an inspiration to follow…….

Weather Router’s advice: 

From: Commanders’ Weather
To: Charles Darbyshire , Musandam ,updateoman
Subject: weather
Date: 17/02/2009 14:56:27

To: Charles Darbyshire and the crew of

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 56 01s/ 68 45w at 1200utc Tues Feb 17, 2009

Prepared: 1330utc Tues, Feb 17, 2009


Complex pattern shaping up which leads to below normal confidence

Lots of ups and downs in wind speed and timing issues

1) Deep area of low pressure off to the SE of you and moving SE

a) looks like it brought stronger W to WNW flow in faster

2) Will have a W wind around 22-35 kts ñ flow may become more WSW the next
few hours then tend more WNW around/after 1800utc

a) wind occasionally gusting to 35+ at times

3) Flow likely to become very light Thursday

a) wind direction mainly W then increasing from the NW and N Thurs night

b) a period of stronger N winds (25-35 kts) possible Thurs night

4) Will have a weak high to the E of the Falklands Thurs and will move NE

5) Front will be coming east behind it

6) Front passes near or a little after 1200utc Fri

a) wind becomes WSW and SW behind it

b) may have some squalls around

7) Wind then becomes light Fri night

a) probably a backing wind

8) Flow then becomes NW as we get to late Fri night/Sat and comes up quickly

9) With such rapid changes, models usually do quite poorly and not seeing
very good consistency in different models and even within each model

10) Will keep with the plan on turning NE next 24-48 hours and pushing
towards 50s/50w then to north of 1st possible ice waypoint

RoutingÖ head NE towards 53 15s/58w then up to 50s/50w (will be slow going
at times Thurs and maybe again fort a time 1st part of Fri night)

Then aiming to near/just north of 48s/35w

Some estimated positions below

Wind directions are TRUE, wind speed in kts, and time is UTC

Tue, Feb 17

15: 260-280/25-35

18: 270-290/20-30

WeatherÖConsiderable clouds with a shower

Seas 8-12 ft ñ a W to SW swell

Wed, Feb 18

00: 280-300/20-30

06: 280-300/22-32

12: 280-300/25-35 nr 53 15s/58w

18: 280-300/18-25

WeatherÖMostly cloudy

Seas building to 8-12 ft ñ a W to WNW swell

Thu, Feb 19

00: 270-290/ 8-14

06: 260-280/ 6-12
12: 280-300/ 8-14 nr 50 30s/51w

18: 300-330/ 8-14

WeatherÖVariable clouds

Seas diminishing to 6-10 ft – W swell

Fri, Feb 20 ñ wind more right if further S

00: 300-320/15-20

06: 310-330/22-32

12: 270-290/20-30 nr 48s/43w front close

18: 240-260/15-20

WeatherÖCloudy with a few showers/squalls possible

Seas 6-9 ft ñ mainly a W swell

Sat, Feb 21

00: 180-200/18-10

06: bcmg 350-010/ 6-11

12: 310-330/25-35 nr 47s/33w

18: 310-330/25-35, g40

WeatherÖVariable clouds

Seas building to 9-14 ft

Sun, Feb 22

00: 320-340/30-40

12: 310-330/25-35 nr 43s/25 30w

WeatherÖClouds with developing showers/squalls

Seas 10-15 ft

Best regards, George Caras

Commanders Weather Corp.
Tel: 603-882-6789

A selection of pictures from today: