[MHml] Message from Ross
marc.pardailhe at free.fr
marc.pardailhe at free.fr
Thu Nov 9 22:42:14 EST 2006
Day 9 was going ok. Chasing down the frontal low pressure system and
maintin my lead. I eventaully caught it late afternoon. We had expected
40-45knots of wind, and i had prepared accoringly. 2 reefs were in and
as wind built i dropped to inner jib, then 3 reefs.
The wind built rapidly to 40knots and gusting 45-50. Then rapidly built
to 50 gusting alot more. At this stage (around 1930) i deceided to drop
the main and then jib and go bare poles until the worse had passed.
The main was first and took quite a battle to get down and tie the head
down. Just as i was making my way back to the cockpit to dowse the jib a
BIG gust hit, Ideal Stelard bore away and dug in the port bow, it was
going pear shaped!
I was scrambling uphill to try and get to the cockpit to release the
sheet as she tipped over.
I realised that i did not want to be in the cockpit as she went over and
ran over the nets and hull to arrive on the aft net on the capsized
boat. A scramble around to the emergency acces hatch, which allows acces
to the cabin when inverted, i crawled in and activated the EPIRB
emergency beacon. Then opened the grab-emergency box to get the spare
satellite phone just a big wave ran trough the boat soaking it and
making it inoperable.
I then activated the other EPIRB, so it was obvious that the 1st was not
an acidental activation, climbed into my survial suit and started
sorting out what was and was not needed. I took the EPIRBS and Lifebelt
light and tied them to the daggerboard to aid visibilty for any
rescures. I then retrived the argos beacon from the cockpit and
activated its distress function. This took a good hour or so. With
everything activated it was a mattter of settling down to 'life
What as not needed was jetisoned so only water was surging in the cabin,
i then eat and drank some water and climbed up onto the inverted chart
table, to start the wait. I decied to aid any resucers by setting off a
large parachute flare on the hour and a smaller para flare on the half
hour. These were fun to set off and great for my moral as they make a
very grateflying whoosh as they zip off into the air.
Around 2am i fell asleep and prompthy fell off my perch on the chart
table. As i looked out of the emergency hatch i saw a ships lights. I
immediatly set off a parachute flare or two, got togther my personal
affects and set off handheld flares as they manouvered in to the rescue.
The first pass was very close but not quite enough, the second was a
near miss and in a brillant display of seamanship the captain put the
'Carmen' (of the Wallenius line) right alongside, i was able to pass a
line for my effects, say my goodbies to Ideal Stelrad and casualy step
up onto the pilot boarding ladder. Boy was i pleased to be welcomed by
the 3rd mate and the captain.
A shower, a drink and a phone call home was all undertaken before
getting my head down for some sleep. I am now bound for Santander (N
Spain) and expect to arrive Sunday 12th so should be back in newcastle
Can i thank all those who have been in contact either directly or
indirectly for thier concern
- but sorry, ya don't get rid of me that easily :-)
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