Friday, January 1, 2010

A soak in the Southern Ocean

Last night as I was checking up various things on deck I realized that one of the two bolts holding the Wind Vane together had gone off. This was serious specially with the autopilots already on strike! Rushed with a spanner and as I was sitting on the transom putting on a new bolt a couple of waves washed over me soaking me to the inside of my boots! Exquisite agony is probably a good way to describe it!  Managed to put on the bolt without loosing the spanner as my hands had already started going numb, got inside and it was straight in the sleeping bag for a couple of hours after a quick drying up and change of clothing. Got up grudgingly only when my boat builder, Ratnakar, rang up to wish me a happy new year and discuss a solution to the problems on board. He was celebrating New Years with friends & family at Goa but by all indications his mind was on the boat in the Southern Ocean!

       Midnight of New Years eve, just as I was getting out to change the wind vane with the wind dropping, the phone rang. Finding it a bit odd to receive a phone call close to midnight, picked up the phone and what a pleasant surprise! Jessica calling to wish New Years! So very thoughtful of her! Amongst all the new years wishes I have received in all these years and at various places I think I will cherish this, from this gutsy girl 350 Nm away and the nearest  human being to me, as the most special! With wishes like these how can 2010 not be anything but great!

          As we sail into 2010, here is wishing all the readers, from Mhadei & her crew, a great year ahead and good times to come!  


karen lee said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you! Lovely to hear all is ok - keep checking to see if you've made a new entry. And to get a phone call from your 'neighbour' Jessica - I'm sure you both share a special bond and will cherish New Years Eve 2009 always. Safe travels for 2010.

CPO USN (ret) said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you Commander. May 2010 bring you and yours the best of everything.

Anonymous said...

Hi Captain Donde!

Happy New year and a safe trip back home!

I hope you can solve everything and continue with your trip safely. When you arrive to your next stop, make all the reparations and check everything.

Hope the best for you and Jess!

Marina from Turin

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,
Glad you are safe and well.
How nice of Jesse (your neighbour)to call you. She was having a party with her crew!! and some albatross dropped in.
Keep safe

RichieParis said...

Happy New Year, Commander!
I wish you a sleepy Murphy, reliable bolts, no more soaky parties, and fair winds.
Good trip to Port Stanley and keep your sleeping bag dry.
You are gutsy too, and we admire you much!

samurai said...

Happy New Year Dilip. I hope everything goes well for you this year and may all your problems be little ones. :-))
How nice to get a phone call from Jessica. Shame you don't have HF radio. Never mind, I'm sure you appreciated the phone call all the more.
I was wondering how far away from each other you were and now, reading your blog has answered that.
As I was reading what you wrote about rushing to the bolts with a spanner all I could think of was, "plop" as the sound it makes when you lose tools and such to the deep. Attaching lanyards to some things is not such a bad idea, as I have leant a few times in the past. Unless of course you're one of those people who has spares for spares. :-))
Sounds like you're moving along reasonably well and will be catching up to EPL in no time, weather permitting. You're doing great so I hope losing your auto-pilot doesn't prove to be too taxing for you as you prepare to round the Cape Horn.
I hope all your wishes from the wind and seas come true. Take care, stay safe and bye for now...Sam

Nix said...

Hi sir - i'm Nikhil, E/98. Posted in Kochi presently. Been following your blog closely ever since Tomy sir told me about it. I visited the Mhadei in Kochi too. Saw you that time but couldn't speak with you. I've met you in Port Blair, though. Best wishes and all the best for the rest of your voyage. Oh, and a very happy new year too!! Regards.

Marg said...

Happy New Year to you Commander!
So pleased to know you are ok. I was worried about you heading into rough weather with the problems you were experiencing on board.
You and Jessica are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
Stay safe.

tashworth said...

Hello Dilip,
Glad to hear you are well and making good progress. Thought you might be doing a lot of hand steering from the freezing cockpit and couldn't get to the blog facilities.
Curious to know what kind of vane steering you are using. If it's a half decent servo-pendulum we would be less concerned about you losing your autopilot.
Best wishes for the New Year and a successful circumnavigation.
Tony, Brisbane.

Chloe said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR! So glad to hear you're okay, was beginning to wonder if you'd come unstuck in a storm. Here in Tasmania the Sydney-Hobart yachts are all in, and we've had good weather. All the best.

Anne Bonny (from Spain) said...

Hello Dilip,

From Spain I am following your trip around the world (Solo Circumnavigation).

Jesse told us info about your blog and I am here :-) to be also with you.

I have a friend who is going to do the same (next year) from Tarragona (Spain).
His name is Luis Miranda.

Well Cap. Donde, all my best wishes for the new year 2010.


jim said...

Hi Dilip - good to read you are making steady progress, how wonderful to have a midnight New Year's greeting from Jessica, you are both amazing people. I see you were posting daily and admit to be somewhat worried when no post appeared for three days, mainly because you wrote about equipment failure in the Tuesday 29th post, but that's my issue if I worry. So relieved to see all is well,even if you can't use auto-pilot. May I take this opportunity to wish all the very best for 2010.

Western Australia

John F said...

Hi Dilip,

Happy New Year!

Sorry to hear about your latest equipment problem and subsequent drenching trying to remedy same.

It was nice to hear that Jessica contacted you for new year. It must be comforting for both of you knowing that you are not completely alone out there!

Stay Safe

John F

tell tale said...

You are closing home now, are you?
many many happy wishes for the new year.., wish youhappy sailing for years to come!!

Rex said...

Thank you, Dilip. Very happy to see your new posting. Was anxiously waiting for it, and glad to see that you are fine and handling the challenges the southern ocean is throwing your way.
Welcome to 2010, and have a happy, successful and exciting New Year.
Keep those flags on the map coming. We love to see your progress toward the Horn, and will be happy when you arrive at Stanley and get those broken bolts replaced.
God speed,

Rex Gibbons

Ranen said...

Happy New Year Captain

kina said...

Hello Dilip,

so good to hear from you. Hope it hasn't been too taxing on you with the loss of autopilots and now problems with Wind Vane. I cringe at the thought of trying to work with numb hands and an icy soaking to boot (no pun intended).

I hope Ratnakar came thru with some positive news and I would imagine being part of a support
crew their minds seem always to be on the welfare of those who are sailing the oceans and their yachts as is certainly the case with Jesse and her team.

I hope Jesse' midnight call had a positive affect on you and that you reach Port Stanley safely and without any further problems to Mhadei.

Sail safe Dilip and best wishes to you and your team for 2010.


Dan said...

Dear Commander Donde

First Happy New Year from Portland, Oregon, USA.

There are many of us who have our minds on the boats in the Southern Ocean and wait with great anticipation you each drop of real time information as it is served.

I was reading about the re-building of the old J-Class racing boats from the early 1900's and see one is named Hanuman. It made me wonder if you ever think of Hanuman. Seem like it might be a good thing to think of.

Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! Enjoy yourself. Shashi Mama and Sulbha Mami.

Rashmi said...

Happy New year to you from all of us. I am sure 2010 will be a year for you to cherish. All the best for a safe trip back home.

Robert said...

Happy New Year Dilip,

Here's wishing you safe travels aboard your 47 footer at 55 South. Was so touched by your comments on Jessica's phone call, I copied & pasted them on her blog. Hope you don't mind.

Bob from Seattle

Bob B said...

Happy New Year. Good Sailing and good winds. Bob in Tucson

Anonymous said...

Hi Cdr Donde; HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Llew said...

Thank you for such an entertaining and informative commentary Commander. It is as much a delight to read yours as it is to read Jessica's. You are both exceptional people and much admired around the world. Safe sailing.

SaltyDog said...

Commander Donde,

Happy New Year. You certainly have had more than your share of issues to deal with. I hope you'll be able to find a solution as you make your way to Cape Horn, in particular your steering issues.

Jessica is a special young lady so it is nice that you have her company in the Southern Ocean. I imagine that there is a mutual feeling there and that she appreciates be able to get in touch with you as well.

I wish you the best to you in your travels and for the coming year.

From Seattle, WA, USA

Lut said...

discovered your blog thanks to the one of Jessica. Wishing you a happy year 2010 and the fulfillment of your dream !

Dave on Seren said...

Happy New Year,
I am now keeping an eye on your trip and wish you a safe voyage. I hope that you get your steering all sorted out soon,

Queensland, Australia

Anonymous said...

Hello Dilip,

Glad to see that you are overcoming the challenges and sailing along to your destination.

Wishing you a Very Happy New Year and all the best for your journey ahead.


Rowie said...

Happy New Year Dilip!

Best wishes for a safe trip around the Cape. Thanks for the great blog, will keep reading.

Rowie from Brisbane

Dee said...

Happy New Year to you, I have been following you for about a week now. I pray this will be a great year for you. Hope you can sort out your mechanical repairs.

The McGraths said...

Happy New Year Cdr Donde,

We wish you a safe journey and are so thrilled that Jesse's message meant so much to you.

We are now following you closely and will continue to do so until you finish.

God bless,

The McGraths, Nowra NSW

Kath said...

I hope that's the end of your problems. Nice to hear that Jess called you.
Wishing you all the best on your journey.X.

45° 31′ 0.02″ N, 73° 39′ 0.02″ W said...

नमस्ते Dilip,

2010, नमस्ते की शुभकामनाएं

Stay warm, keep safe

John said...

We salute you Commander. "nearest human". Are you two that far out of the shipping lanes? Boy, that is scary. You might as well be on the moon!

Jonathan@Tooradin said...

Hi Dilip,

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, your support team and your loved ones !

Glad to know that despite the soaking you were in control of the situation.

How well and eloquently put ! Here in Oz and around the world, Jess's adventure is right up there and so is yours. Good luck and happy sailing !

Melbourne, Australia

daisynz said...

Best wishes to you, having seen your yacht arrive in Lyttelton and found your bog through Jessica's, we will now be following your travels with great interest.

Fair winds and safe sailing

Regards Clare
SV Ellan Vannin

Toni McLean said...

Hi Dilip,
Well, that's our Jesse! And after all, your practically neighbours at the moment. Sailing certainly has changed from Joshua Slocum's days!

You must have been frozen to the bone with that unfortunate ice bath. I'm glad it wasn't any worse than that.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year too and trouble free sailing for the rest of your journey.


hezakiah299 said...

01-01-10 @ 21:33
Hi Dilip,
Happy New Year Dilip, May it bring happy memories and be prosperous as well.
Sorry to hear about your latest problem, I was hoping that you would have some better luck in the New Year (2010). I hope it will change in the near future. Just hang in there and keep fighting it. Which you’re already doing.
With the amount of critical bolts that you are losing, for the future, may I suggest trying a different supplier. The quality of the bolts may be in question here. What is their composition and what is their tensil strength. Critical factors, and something worth looking into.

That was real neighborly of Jessica to ring you up and wish you a Happy New Year, but that's just the way she is. She is always thinking of others. When she pulled out of Sydney, she was more concerned for the family and friends that she was leaving behind than herself. She's got a big heart.
I gotta admit, that was a hell of a way to take a bath. LOL.....
Thank you for your well wishes and may God Bless you and guide you home safely.
Take care, and be safe.
I'll keep you in my prayers.
Michael(74) from Kingwood, WV

Anonymous said...

Very happy to hear you were able to resolve the problem and get warmed up.

Wondering from your posts how many miles you expect you'll be from jessica when you round the horn?

Greg, Utah USA

Anonymous said...

Happy New year from the Bay Area, California. Any signs of that Jessica? I look forward to following in your Blog.

Rihie Rich, Cal. U.S.A.

nutralady2001 said...

Hello Dilip..... how special to get a phone call from Jesse !She didn't mention that, though she did mention the wild party she and her crew were throwing.... and she didn't invite you?????

Hope you don't have any more "mechanical" problems x

oganiksurfy said...

Bula Dilip! Happy New Year matey! Prosperous 2010 to you my friend. Praying for you and Jessica. From the beautiful Fiji Islands. Happy sailing. siva

Clint Jeffrey - VK3CSJ said...

Hey There Dilip,
Sometimes you just have to take the phone off the hook if you don't want to be disturbed, I mean who calls friends in the middle of the night...I ask you...the Cheek!!...;)...(onya Jess)

Happy New Year to you Dilip I hope you get all those little repairs sorted fixed up...


Clint - Melbourne

olseadog said...

Happy New Year Dilip ! Keep it up ! Wish you all success !
Following your progress closely. Send us some pictures of the Southern Ocean.

Anonymous said...

one never know's just how small this world is till they see that some one else is thinking of them ... it is good to know when someone is thinking about you in such a good and kind loving way.. to be able to reach out across the water's to wish you a very good New year... yes' 2010'.. will be both of your's for the rest of your life's... this will be something you'll never forget.. and how you both met out on the water's... what a true Blessing for you both You and Jesse'..

God Be with you always ....and



A Kumar said...

Hello Dilip,

Long time follower and wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year.

The past year, I have begun to appreciate the role sailing played in shaping our world starting almost 500 years ago. Its heartening to know that its getting the attention it deserves in desh. Appreciate the support of good folks like Ratnakar and the IN.

Thanks for the putting together the happenings in your world! Cheers.

A Kumar

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip

What a wonderful experience, sharing this excitement with you and all you friends and family. Hope you are safe tonight Dilip ... we are thinking of you and wishing you well.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dilip!

Welcoming you into 2010! It seems you have entered into a new year, another stage of your trip and have also met an awesome friend out there!

I hope the repairs on your boat will see you through the Cape and to your next destination Safely.

Storms are now approaching Jesse so I assume they are close to you!

Please take care of each other out there!

Take care of her as she would take care of you!

Be safe Dilip!


Jony the Pony said...

Hi Admiral,
great to hear you are doing well and that you have a close relationship with Jess.
Sounds like another storm is coming, so be prepared.
Have you seen any of them albertos or dolfens?
Keep up them dodgers!
Jony the Pony

Malay Kukreti said...

Hi Buddy,
Been wanting to write to you for some time but good intent is not good enough ... Come new year and I got myself to write.

Been following yr trip since it began, but can't imagine what it must be like being there, doing it.

Keep up the great josh , our good wishes are always with you.
Here's wishing fair winds & following seas in 2010.

Malay Kukreti.

Lesley Carew said...

Happy New Year to you, glad to see all is going relatively well.. keep warm and take care, Lesley

hezakiah299 said...

01-02-10 @ 11:24
Hi Dilip,
I was just checking in with you to see if you had any luck getting your boat fixed. I hope you've got it fixed and you're under way. Jessica's on the verge of entering another storm, about the same size as the last one, but since the wind is coming at her head-on it will be colder. She's getting rugged up and she'll be ready for it when it hits.
Take care Dilip, I hope you can get your boat repaired.
Be safe and cautious, I will keep you in my prayers
Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV (USA)

peter said...

Happy New Year and best of luck rounding Cape Horn.
Thanks for the positioning info and for the communication with Jessica. My plotting indicates your rounding of the Cape Horn Jan 8-9, of course dependent on weather. Seems you will pass her possibly a day before that.
How long will you layover in Port Stanley?

Angus said...

Hey Dilip.
Hope everything is going OK. I know keeping on top of things is a full time job.
Take care & so long for now.

bert said...

Hi pilip
Hope things are well.

Angus said...

Hi pilip
Hope things are well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,

Happy New Year and all the very best.

Ulhas Kirpekar (F/75)

Cobrarog said...

Happy New Year Dilip!
Found you via Jessica's blog and will follow along with you until your safe arrival at home port.
Sounds like your mechanical problems are giving you a bit of a test. Good ingenuity on your part. hope all goes well with the "fixes".
Somebody must have thought you needed a bath my boy. What a shocker that would have been. And you didn't even have a sauna to duck back into as I did when I was a pup.
Well, at least you can stop for some permanent fixes. Jessica doesn't have that luxury.
Careful with the blow ahead.
Wishing you a safe voyage.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,

Happy New Year to you. I hope that you have managed to sort out the problems on your yacht. (Should I address you in this way, or would you prefer to be addressed in some other way?) I can see by your comments that you have been called Dilip, Commander, Captain Donde, Sir, Buddy. Which would you prefer?

When I read your blog you brought tears to my eyes when you said that Jesse Watson had phoned you on New Year's Eve. She must have a lot of respect for you and appreciate your positive words of wisdom. I'm sure that you have forged a lifetime friendship. I wonder if you both knew when you set sail that you might almost bump into each other on your travels and that you would be communicating with each other? You're great morale boosters for each other.

Jesse is having some cold windy weather coming up from Antarctica - will you be experiencing the same weather I wonder?

Soon there will be three of you out there solo cirucumnavigating around the world as Abby Sunderland is leaving very soon on "Wild Eyes". It's great how you are all supporting each other. Abby's Mum was talking to Jesse's Mum discussing the food that Abby will be taking with her. You all have great sportsmanship and should be very proud representing your Countries. India must be so proud of you as all of us bloggers are. :-)

Take care Dilip and safe travels. Warmest regards - Jan (Auckland, New Zealand)

Simon Dyer said...

Happy New Year Commander - we are thinking of you on that large ocean - sorry to miss your sendoff in Lyttelton - thanks for wearing the Solar Light Cap we gave you - I'll email you the picture from the newspaper - would love to hear your feedback on its performance.

Wishing you good Westerlies and clear skies !
Simon & Vanessa Dyer

Max said...

Hi there Dilip
Just like to wish you a Happy New Year and safe sailing. We learnt of your site after following Jesse every day, it must have been a real thrill to receive her call at midnight. We will catch up on your trip and follow your progress now.
Our best wishes from Faye and Max (Mulgrave Vic Aust)

peter said...

From your position on 12-31 , have you been maintaining a fairly constant heading?

chris.c.coles morales said...

Happy New Year....
May you have a good sail and that the wind always treats you kindly...

Chris Coles-Morales

Scott said...

Dilip, I heard about you on Jessica's blog and recently started following your progress. Happy new year to you. Jessica said she'll be getting Antarctic winds soon - I hope you weather them well and stay warm if you get them, too.

Scott, Denver, Colorado, USA

Mike Kay Avon Indiana USA said...

Happy New Year to you Captain Donde,
Here's wishing you good luck with the repairs and equipment for this new year. Sounds as though you have had a rough spell and could use some good fortune. My hope for you is good weather and calm seas. Godspeed, Mike

Angus (bris) said...

Hi Dilip,
Hope things are going well for you. Jesse has run int a bit of bad weather. Hope yoys sailing is a bit calmer.

Anonymous said...

Hi Captain Donde,

Hope everything is fine for you. I'm sure you are very busy right now with the weather getting worse as the horn gets nearer. When you can let us know how are you doing. Maybe your support team can let us know how are things going for you.

Best wishes,

Marina from Turin

Anonymous said...

Commander Donde: Sympathize with your current problems with the sheared bolts Strongly suggest that your friend Ratnaker consult with a metalurgist and see if he can engineer some harden steel bolts that will pass the stress test and have them sent to Port Stanley pending your arrival so you want be delayed unduly and can be on your way with repairs completed ! Cheers

Georgia Guy said...

Hello Commander,

Just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year as you sail into 2010 and sail toward rounding The Horn. Hope your mechanical problems are at least patched up and semi functional for a safe passage.

Best wishes and sorry about the drenching. That had to be cold. Also glad to hear you received a call from Jessica as you both share the Southern Ocean experience down in the 55's.

Please keep letting us know how you are doing.

Safe sailing and Godspeed.

Georgia Guy

Anonymous said...

Greetings Commander
Just wanted to wish you well and also tell you that you and Jess' shared love of the sea and sailing has made a special connection for me, particularly as you both sail the same waters and encounter the same challenges!
As Jess' paternal granny she is constantly in my thoughts and prayers and you are now also! I hope it comforts you in times of stress or discomfort to know that so many people are 'keeping watch' for you and blessing you with their good will. I am believing for a wonderful, fulfilling trip for you and a final safe return home.
Happy New Year!
Granny W from Waikanae NZ

john said...

best wishes for the new year and especially the first bit where you round the cape ... another aussie is with you in spirit ... john langford, sunshine coast, australia

P S said...

Dear Dilip Sir,
Happy (belated) new year 2010 and hope all goes well with your problem-solving. May your recalcitrant thingummies work they way they should and may you have a voyage with few worries, and many memorable (the pleasant kind!) experiences this year!!
All the very best for the Atlantic.
Warm regards,

Adolfo Cano said...

Where are you Dilip ?
Are you having problems?