Southern Cross Report #4

by · February 16, 2017

Just received another sat-phone call from Howard. The first part was clear, but eventually we lost the signal and I didn’t get the last past of his message. What I gathered is that he’d had another challenging day, but he’s anchored finally in a nice, mostly windless cove now. As he was talking to me he was finishing dinner in his cockpit tent, with the back flap open watching penguins splashing around near shore.

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Howard said the trickiest part so far has been the changeable winds, which he says will be blowing steadily at 10 knots then rapidly begin gusting to forty knots or more. He’s had to scramble to quickly reduce sail. Another significant obstacle, though he says he’s learning how to deal with it, is heavy kelp. The other night he arrived in a less than ideal 100-yard wide anchorage and was forced to move locations 8 or 9 times throughout the night—part of which he spent sleeping in his drysuit after dragging anchor close near the lee shore. Sitting awake in the cockpit in the middle of the morning he had to don his headlamp and winch the anchor to break it free while cutting away at kelp with his Spyderco knife. When we spoke he said he’d only slept a single hour of the last 39.

He continues to rave about the boat and her performance. The photo above was sent to me by John Welsford. I believe it was taken from the deck of the S/V Novarra, a research vessel. I’m sure they were more than a little surprised to come across Howard and his SCAMP at the mouth of the Magdalena Channel and Strait of Magellan. Howard says they checked on him asking if he needed anything. He told them he did not. When he responded by asking the crew of the big steel-hulled boat whether they needed anything, everyone had a laugh. —Josh

Discussion7 Comments

  1. The cove he’s in now is a fishing boat “refuge”. There are crab pots up on the shore, permanent mooring lines out, its sheltered and safe, and when he spoke to me a few minutes ago he had the tent up, was cooking up a hot meal and preparing for a long sleep.
    The forecast as I read it should give him two, perhaps three days of moderate north westerly winds which should see him out past Peninsula Breknock and heading south toward the Beagle Channel.

    John Welsford

  2. Bob Triggs says:

    These updates are great. Onward!

  3. Timo says:

    Great to see a picture of Howard’s SCAMP in those remote southern waters! Please, keep on sending updates, Josh!

  4. Bob Throne says:

    Keep the reports coming .. thanks for the breadth of fresh air.

  5. tony searles says:

    Best wishes for smooth sailing and a safe trip.All the best Tony Searles .Chch NZ

  6. Mike McInnis says:

    It’s so good to know how this voyage is going. It does sound like the SCAMP is so far not throwing Howard any unexpected surprises. Still, managing that little boat in 40 knot blows has got to be darned taxing, even for Howard with his immense skill set..

  7. Ton article est très utile, merci bcp!

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