Solo journey

Lisa Blair provides an insight to her solo circumnavigation around Australia.

Lisa Blair is attempting to become the first woman to circumnavigate the coast of Australia solo, non-stop and unassisted.

As she approaches Darwin, she has contended with the Doldrums, hot conditions and sleep deprivation. 

In a series of blog posts she been able to keep her followers updated daily. In her most recent post, she gives an insight into life on board Climate Action Now.

“Afternoon all, Well last night was a little bit of a mixed bag with some really light winds.  Most of the night I was trying to sail in 5-8 knots of wind going the grand speed of 3-4 knots but at least I was moving.

It is really hot here at the moment and with the light winds their is little breeze to cool things off so I was really struggling to sleep and it wasn’t until well after midnight that I actually managed to get a nap in.  A few short naps later and an alarm started beeping on the boat.  I looked at my B and G instruments and couldn’t see any alarm notice so I figured it was something else.  To be really honest here I wasn’t really thinking as I was still mostly asleep.

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“I grumbled as I rolled out of bed and set on the hunt trying to work out where it was coming from.  As I poked around I worked out it was coming from behind the panel in my navigation station and that I would need to open the panel to work out what it was. This is possible but it requires me to disconnect the VHF antenna from the VHF unit to get enough room to open the panel.  Half asleep, I clear some space by moving the boat computer and cameras ect and starting trying to work the antenna free but it just wasn’t budging.

“I then needed to go on a hunt and find a pair of multi grips to loosen it and finally after about 20 minutes of this I was able to get the panel open.  When I did I couldn’t see anything that looked out of the ordinary and it took my brain an embarrassingly long time to work out that the B and G alarm was tripped.  I have the B and G electronics all set up for my chart plotters etc and I set the system up with a remote alarm so that I would have more change of hearing an alarm.

“It turned out that it was triggered by a true wind shift and as I was so sleepy I couldn’t put two and two together.  For some reason, and this only happens with the true wind alarm, when this alarm is tripped it will display on my screen for 3 seconds and then disappear so if I haven’t been able to acknowledged in that time then I need to go into the settings to re-set it.

Given it was 2 am in the morning and I had managed maybe 30 minutes of sleep I wasn’t really thinking that well.  Once I worked it out however it was a simple fix and I fell back into my bunk and actually managed some sleep.

“Come the new day, today my goal was to get my code zero sail up.  It was a second-hand sail that I picked up from sail exchange and had Hood sails recut to suit the boat but this boat has never had a code zero while I have owned her so I was working a little blind.  I have also be generously sponsored a Karver furler so that I can furl the sail up and away.  In the end running new tack lines and setting the single line furling system I was only able to finally get the sail up at about 3pm and finished very sweaty and covered in heat rash.  Ahh.

“The conditions are light still with 10 knots of true wind but now I have almost double the sail area to work with.  I am not flying along as I need more wind than this but I am travelling a little faster than before.  What’s better is that the furler has a built in ratch locking the mechanism so I can leave the sail up and furled if I need to use another one.  I would only do this while I am in known light winds and likely will put the sail below once I round the top of Australia.

So even though it is slow progress – it is progress so I am quite happy on board coasting along.”

follow the latest updates from Lisa Blair at her website.

lisablairsailstheworld.com

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