Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A welcome respite!

The gales of the last 2-3 days subsided today and so did the swell. There was thick fog all around with intermittent drizzle dropping the temperatures but the absence of wind chill more than compensated for the extra cold! It was good to have three hot & rather heavy meals through the day, shake out a reef or two, go around the boat tightening everything that is not supposed to move and spraying WD 40 on everything that's supposed to! In the morning for a while it looked as if the wind will die out completely but luckily it was just changing direction and started blowing a steady 10 to 15 kts from NW, as against WSW of the past three days, making us do a ENE course at a comfortable 6 kts while keeping the wind vane happy. The forecast for the next few days is not predicting any gale force winds. Keeping my fingers crossed as at sea, specially in remote areas like the one we are in, one tends to take forecasts with a pinch of salt!  


Lesley Carew said...

Sounds a great deal better today, keep the spirit up you doing well, all the best, Lesley Australia

tell tale said...

Make hay while the sun shines... or doesnt. Seems as if you might run into headwinds by the time you cross the Horn.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the update. Keeping an eye on you and Jessica from Seattle. So many of us check for updates a few times a day wondering how you are doing. Stay safe! Susan

hezakiah299 said...

01-06-10 @03:49
Hi Dilip,
Well, how about that, some good news from you. So glad to read that, maybe your luck is changing. I hope so, you've had more than your share of 'Murphy'. Nice to have a chance to do a little preventive maintenance, and WD40 the hell out of everything. LOL.....
Really glad to see that there weren't any more problems for you.
Take care, Dilip and keep the faith, it had to get better.
We, the bloggers, haven't heard from Jessica, so I figure she's pretty busy. No word from the Shore Crew so that's a good sign.
Take care of yourself Dilip, and I hope everything runs smoothly for you. There is a pretty big storm on the West side of the Cape, but it may be gone by the time you reach it. I keep you in my prayers, always.
Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV

Marg said...

I really look forward to your updates, thanks to Jessica for letting us know about your journey. Stay safe.

Sueby said...

Some may compare your trip and jessica's and think that because you are older it is easier - but I know that is not true - it is equally challenging to each of you - take care

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,

Glad to hear the gales have subsided and at least you can prepare your hot meals. Hope the weather stays favourable,
Best of luck

Jim said...

Hi Dilip

So glad to hear from you and that all is well on the seas, glad to hear of a respite in the gale force, just a short while ago I saw on a satellite picture for the area you and Jessica are in and it doesn't look that bad. Jess hasn't posted yet today as at 6.31pm WA time but her mother was on the ABC this morning saying all is well with her, you two can't be too far from each other.
All the very best Dilip, wishing you safe seas and fair winds.
Western Australia

Rex said...

Hi Dilip, Great to hear from you again and see your continued progress. Good luck in the next few days as you round the Horn. May the weather gods be kind and speed you on to Stanley.
Cheers, til your next posting,
Rex Gibbons, Newfoundland, Canada

Anonymous said...

Thanks for updates Dilip have been watching your progress along with Jessica, hope you two get to at least see each other after all you have been through, from a old Arm Chair sailor great great work, stay safe.
nelso south coast nsw. australia

Vaibhav said...

Great Progress! Keep it are very near to destination-3 :)

samurai said...

G'day dilip, glad to know that you are doing much better and the storm has abated as you seem to be in very good spirits.
Amazing what a good squirt of WD40, a length of duct tape here and there and a full belly of hot yummy food can do, no?
Take good care of yourself. Stay warm and safe and bye for now...Sam

Jony the Pony said...

Yes Admiral Didl,
good job!
Keep up them dodgers!
Jony the Pony

The McGraths said...

Hi Dilip,

Just letting you know our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Sounds like you are taking good care of yourself which is most important.
All the best,
The McGraths, Nowra NSW

Cape Breton said...

Hi Dilip,
Glad you are OK. Seems like the WD40 sure made life on board more tolerable for you ! Eh ?
Have to admit, as an armchair sailor, I was starting to get a nervous feeling but since you have reported the gales have passed it's a relief to know that all is well.
Although there has been no word about Jessica, I assume she is experiencing similar conditions as you are both closing in on the Horn.
So, since the weather is calmer, it would be a good time to cook up a good hot Madras curry to warm up your insides. Don't know if you like really hot curry, but I enjoy it on the milder side !
Enjoy the calm conditions and be safe.

from the great Bras d'Or Lakes in Cape Breton. Nova Scotia.luturcle

Georgia Guy said...

Hi Commander Donde,

I see in your future a lucrative career as a tv infomercial PITCHMAN for WD 40 and the virtues of never sailing the ocean without a can or three on board. The folks at WD 40 should be trying to contact you as I write this.

Glad the bumps and groans have settled down a bit and I certainly understand your taking weather predictions where you are with a pinch of salt.

I have been places where they say "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change".

Best wishes as you sail on to The Horn and stay safe, warm and dry.

Safe sailing and Godspeed.

Georgia Guy

Hugo said...

Hello Dilip,
I have been closely following your progress. Congratulations on the great blog! It reads smoothly and your subdued sense of humor is very amusing!
Take care, good winds, calm seas!
Hugo, from Córdoba (Argentina)

Tim09 said...

Hi Dilip,
Glad to see things have eased off for a while. Have been keeping up with you and Jess (she must be close to you now) and wish you both fast passage around the hornas there is a big blow forcast to hit around the 14-1-10. So God's speed and take care.
Tim and Rosie

Jony the Pony said...

Hi Admiral Didl,
have you seen Jess already?
Let us know when you whizzle past!
Keep up them dodgers,
Jony the Pony

Llew said...

Hi Dilip,
Watching your exciting expedition daily online.Very entertaining & well written blogs. Many thanks,
Llew, Christchurch, NZ

chatty said...

Hi Dilip, now that you are flooded with well wishers ..I will just sit back and read all the interesting comments. Nice to know, things are easing up, keep your powder dry and WD 40 handy..there is a prediction of a bad weather near the cape so keep a lookout .. take care buddy and welcome to the twenties club.. now we can leave in peace ..(Pun intended) also wish you a very happy new year..take care Chatty

Anonymous said...

Hello, Commander Donde,
having followed your voyage over the past three months, this is my first post. Thank you for sharing your experience with all those who are interested and - to say the least - fascinated by what you are doing. Now that you must be approaching Drake Passage (judging from your average 24h distances over the past few days ;-)) I wish you the very best for the rounding of Cape Horn from the other side of the planet.
Stay safe and enjoy your journey! Horst / Germany

dc said...

Checking up your blog regarly.
Thanks for sharing. All the best from north europe. Take care DC.

SaltyDog said...

Commander Donde,

That's outstanding to hear that conditions have eased off a bit. You deserve a break. It's amazing everything that you can do with WD40. With a little club soda and ice it makes a good....well may maybe I wouldn't go that far. Enjoy your respite from the heavy weather, Dilip. Looking forward to your next update.

From Seattle, WA, USA

Anonymous said...

thanks for the update - it has been fascinating following your journey!

Toni McLean said...

Hi Dilip,
Glad conditions have eased a bit for you. Just read a report from Jesse's support crew, and they say the same for her too.
No doubt getting a few good, hot meals into you made a difference as well. Don't know how the human race managed before some bright spark discovered cooking with fire!
I hope you don't run out of WD40! Jesse's update said that she is now about 700 miles from the Cape, so keep a look out for her!
Stay safe and warm.
Wishing you all the wind you can manage, from the right quarter.

aran said...

great to follow your progress
thunder bay

Mary said...

Greetings from Maine, USA, Cdr.Donde,

How great that you're enjoying a break in the action so you can eat three hot meals in the day. Fantastic!

Wishing you favorable conditions and the chance to enjoy the magnitude of your daily journey.


Mary, Maine, USA

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

नमस्ते Dilip,



Stay warm, be safe

Wayne said...

Hello Dilip:
I hope the weather is good for you around the horn. I have been following the "Around the Americas" trip and they are now going down the east coast of South America and stopping at Port Stanley. I believe this is your next port of call. Maybe your paths will cross. Here is their blog address

Fair winds,

Philadelphia, PA

from the frontier said...

I have been following UR voyage for about 4 weeks and am pleased to view UR updates. R U still in contact w/ Jessica Watson? U 2 should be very close 2 each other

yarnek said...

Hi Dilip, This is just to wish you smooth sailing around the Horn. You should be closing on Jessica by now; not much time for chatting I guess but good for both of you if you can.
Cheers from a would-be sailor.
Melbourne, Aust.

Franklin said...

WD40 is great for cleaning out but it's not a good lubricant. If you have any oil or silicone spray, put that on the places 10 minutes after you spray WD40 and you will have much better lubrication there.

It looks like you can do it, but I just wanted to say, there is a very nasty storm headed your way next week. I sure hope you are around the cape and have a windward shore by the time it hits (currently forecasted for Wednesday). Looks like Monday and Tuesday you might also have light wind on the noise too so I guess you'll have a test on your sail trim :)

gsimmons said...

Hi Dilip
First time for me to say hi. Have been following Jessica's adventure and thought it was time see how you are going, I hope all is ok.
You must be fairly close to Jesse by now, when do you expect to past her by, or will she move ahead when you stop at Stanley?
Looks like you have perfect sailing condition at the moment, and hope it stays that way until you round the Horn.
So keep knocking over the miles and keep safe.
Cheers George simmons
Exmouth WA Australia

Scott said...

I'm glad you're getting some rest. I'll bet it must be nice not to have the windchill. Good for you staying on top of maintenance.

Scott, Denver, Colorado, USA

Cleo said...

Hi Dilip Glad to hear you and Jessie are keeping in touch and you are keeping warm as well I'm keeping an eye on both of you now this is tremendous what both of you are doing
Stay safe
Kiwi Gal

Tracie Lynne Hall said...

Here's another stupid question (I'm not implying that your other fans here have asked stupid questions, mind you, but rather that my own previous questions keep revealing how much I don't know): where do the weather forecasts come from when you are out there in the middle of no where? I read that there aren't any weather "stations" around Cape Horn. If that is accurate does that mean the forecasts come from some sort of satellite system--or just the closest weather station's best guess?
I'm relieved to learn things are relatively calm for now, and that the temperature, while certainly not comfortable, is at least not too invasive.
Stay well and...have fun?

olseadog said...

Hi Dilip, Good to know you are doing well mate ! I am following your progress closely, and glad the elements are easing up on you. Well in partial response to TRACIE's question,from what you have reported about the elements, I find that the forecasts from " " are fairly accurate. Hey you passageweather guys you dont need to contact me !!! If you do a good job, you desreve free publicity !
So from the forecasts its much better around the HORN. But do let us know what you experience in terms of wind and swell.AND WHERE IS JESSE ? ARE YOU GOING TO WAVE OUT TO HER ATLEAST ?

Cobrarog said...

Hi Dilip,
I like ta split a gut when I read Georgia Guy's comment about your plug for WD-40, as I had the very same reaction when I read your post.
I couldn't get along without that stuff either and I agree that it is good for cleaning just about everything and temporary light lube jobs. It's basic ingredient is fish oil and can be sprayed onto your fishing lures. There is a list of almost 50 other things that it is good for but I won't bother you with the details here.

Glad it has settled down for a while and you have some time to rest up for the next challenge.
My grandmother always said, "Behind every dark cloud, there is a silver lining". Keep going for those silver linings my friend!
Cobrarog from Hervey Bay


Hello Commander Donde,

I hope you are staying warm and dry fingers and my toes (ouch) are crossed that conditions remain favorable for you.

Safe sailing Dilip,
Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada

Evie from Bendigo said...

Hello Dilip
Even though the weather conditions are more favourable One would assume you are as busy as a bee with a bum full of honey getting all sorts of jobs under your belt before the next blow. Glad you have been able to get some substanial meals in while you can. Do you cope well with the rough swell?
I wish you well in the next few days and hope you keep warm and dry. Good luck.
Evie from Bendigo

Anonymous said...

I a sure you my capt' from what I have seen and read about where your at, one should never take thing so easy thinking they made it through the worsed of it so far... never let your guard down, always except the unseen of what might happen.. at a mounment's could be hit by a wave so large from out of no where.. so take heed' of what your into... keep watch full eyes out for the unknown... and don't for get to Pray'..

God Speed my friend... watch for jessie she's out there somewhere..and she need's a friend..

God be with you.....always


Jonathan@Tooradin said...

Hi Dilip,

Glad to know that you are getting a "breather" from the wind and swell. The 3 day forecast shows a channel of calmer winds all the way to the Cape so hopefully you sail along at a nice clip, notwithstanding.

Good luck Commander.

Melbourne, Australia

workerbev said...

Hi Cdr Donde - well...did you EVER get so much advise and information in your life? Don't you just love it? Actually I have learned so much from the "Ol Salts" that have been writing you and Jessica. I appreciate them so much. Can't get any better information than from those who have "Been there, Done that", true?

Just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts a lot. I'm so glad the weather has settled down a bit so you can get on with a bit of maintenance before the Horn. I do pray that the storm stays away from the two of you until you get down and around. Boy, once you pull into Port Stanley you are sure going to keep them busy with all the big and little things that need to be taken care of.

Don't forget to stock up on mega bushels of WD40 for your next go around. And like one blogger just said, and which I didn't know but I do now, WD40 isn't a good lubricant, so you might want to take a few cans of actual lubricant on board as well.

I've just bought a boat (just a little 5mtr run-a-bout) but I have to do some maintenance on the trailer. Sand it down, paint it with rust inhibitor or something. I have no clue what to do or how to do it or what to use, any ideas from you gals & guys out there? Am having the boat redone as we speak because it had been sitting in this man's yard, in the elements, for quite a while. It is starting to look really, really good now though. I can't wait to get my toes wet. It has been years and years since I've been out boating. Now that I'm retired, I have a camper bus we are redoing (an old 22-passenger school bus actually), we gutted it and started from scratch. It is useable, but lots more to be done, all the little nit-picky things, like the solar panels, water tanks, etc. Now the boat - G O L L Y, I'm in 7th Heaven. Who knew life could be so fun!

Well Cdr, I will let you out of my clutches for the time being. Please be safe, keep tethered on, especially top-side - oh what the heck, you better keep clipped on down below also.

Know that God is with you and will protect you the entire trip. And His Legions of Angels are surrounding you and Mhadei and keeping you safe and on a straight course. BE SAFE, BE MINDFUL OF THE MOMENT, EAT PROPERLY, DRINK LOTS, AND BEHAVE YOURSELF. LOL
Beverly & Andrew Penney, Bridgewater, Tasmania

P.S. HaHa, my word verification is "hyper" so suitable I think! LOL

Prabir said...

Its great to see how many are following your expedition with so much of interest and the cheer parties too. All the best, keep on.

Bob B said...

A hot meal always makes the day better. Your weather sounds just like Jessica's. The two of you must be close, be sure to wave when you go by. That be something if you really passed within sight of her. Goog sailing to and enjoy the gentle winds I'm sure they will not last. Bye for now see you next time. Bob in Tucson

Kath, Qld said...

Hi Dilip,
glad conditions have improved a little for you. Always thinking of you & sending good wishes your way. Can't imagine what it's like out there, I'd be terrified :).
stay safe & clipped on. X

RainCityBob said...

Hello, Skipper,

I have just this evening offered Ganesha a candy bar requesting he help you overcome current obstacles.

I have been concerned for a while with the bolts that sheared on the autopilot. I hope you will ensure all are properly torqued at your next port of call, and perhaps use a stronger grade.

Of course, you knew that.

Fair winds and following seas.

pracs said...


Go Getter ! great luck to you! Take Care, i have not commented from many days but i haven't missed your blog.
Great going commander.......

Jony the Pony said...

Hi Admiral Didl,
I heard Jess is already roudning the cape!
How about you?
Keep up them dodgers,
Jony the Pony

SUBIR said...

Hi Dilip,
Great to know that you and Jessica managed the Gales rather well. Now we all await your Cape rounding. Take care. Any luck with the failed equipment?

DS Pathania said...

Yesterday the boss (CNS) was appreciating u r guts (in handling sea state 4-5) during a small get together at navy house. We(Divers) are really proud of U as we bask in your glory. God is on your side b' cause HE favours brave. Regards & good luck for days ahead.

kina said...

Hello again Dilip,

no mention of further failures in latest blog so I suspect all is running ok. Amazing stuff WD40. I guess you can't wait to get to Port Stanley for repairs. Can't be more than a few days left now. Jesse' latest blog Jan7 @ 10:58pm indicates 500nm's to Cape Horn. This will hopefully give you some idea where she is in relation to your own positiion.
Likewise Dilip, fingers crossed you don't encounter further gales on the run home of this leg. It must have been such a mental and physical challenge for you over the last few weeks and it's not quite over yet.
So take care and travel safe to Port Stanley.

Anand said...

Dear Commander,
I have been following your journey with great admiration and now I know why sayings are coined, well they are coined after guys like you and the one that comes to my mind is "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" and surely you are going great gun,you have made the entire Nation proud, keep it up.

hezakiah299 said...

01-08-10 @ 11:51
Hi Dilip,
Just touching base with you, glad to see your luck is holding up. Hopefully you'll have a smooth and safe run to Port Stanley.
Jessica is not far from the Cape right now, and her parents are flying out to watch her travel round the Cape.
Take care and be safe, you are in my prayer's.
Michael(74)from Kingwood, WV

Madhumita said...

Dear Dilip,
While we are so very concerned about the cold and harsh sea you presently are witnessing we are overwhelmed by the kind of fanfollowing you are getting. Many of these blogs are full of apt advises from sailing veterans.
These days reading your blogs and comments is far more interesting. We miss the photographs though. Wishing you all the very best for successful Horn Crossing. Take goodcare and be safe and warm.

Miloodada, Meeta Bhabhi, Manasi

Atty said...

I think the worst from Varuna is behind you.Now relax and chill - sap up the same feeling after the Rovers josh run.The blessings of the old man at Vinchurni will keep you going!

Bluefin said...

Hello Dilip,

I hope everything is going well for you and you have managed to catch up on some sleep and maintenance. In winter we travel to the very remote desert regions in Australia for the endless spaces and solitude and duct tape is our best friend. In the desert WD40 makes the sand stick to bearings etc so when things get noisy and they certainly do, we unfortunately just have to put up with it.
I hope you have not been soaked to the skin again, all the very best,
Bluefin, Buderim, Queensland.

ET Gurl said...

I dont think Philip speaks de english mmmm

Anonymous said...

Hi Dilip,
No word for a few days now, hope you are ok.
Be safe and good sailing.

Anonymous said...

We havent seen you on here since wednesday.... Hoping everything is ok and getting worried.... even if you can give us just a quick word to say you are ok, or a message through Jesse's shore team?

emma, nsw, australia

Nuke said...

Dilip its amazing man keep up the good work lol am following you from now on