• 17 Jun 2011 07:56
    Reply # 623651 on 578295
    Just received this from Jonathan:

    sail: fore nil, main top 2 only. close hauled sw 2 kts thro nasty chop. course currently direct az. can't last. jds

    The poor man is struggling to make good headway. What I can't understand is that the other two back markers, Foula and Erica, have retired, quoting "poor progress, lack of wind", when Jonathan has 23 knots. At least Jonathan has the sea all to himself now - 300 miles until the next boat ahead!

  • 13 Jun 2011 09:18
    Reply # 619994 on 578295
    Deleted user
    I'm still watching the race. This is exciting. I'm glad the wind has turned from on the nose, being blown backwards wasnt a good look..
    Maybe now he can catch the 2nd last bloke!
  • 12 Jun 2011 06:56
    Reply # 619373 on 619366
    Jeff McFadden wrote:David, do you know if Jonathon is running a cambered sail or one cut flat? His comments re: tacking away from the wind to gain boat speed don't seem to go with received wisdom about cambered sails.
    there are pics in the public gallery, sent to me by Chris Scanes, who made the sails. They have some camber in them, but not, for instance, as much as Arne would have put in.
  • 12 Jun 2011 05:55
    Reply # 619366 on 578295
    Deleted user
    David, do you know if Jonathon is running a cambered sail or one cut flat? His comments re: tacking away from the wind to gain boat speed don't seem to go with received wisdom about cambered sails.
  • 11 Jun 2011 09:33
    Reply # 618699 on 578295
    Today's letter from Jonathan:
    Believe that mast is actually alright and it was a big scare.  David Tyler the junk rig guru, currently in NZ says that his mast graunched similarly until he was able to get spartite between the mast bottom and the spigot on the base plate.  Coming off the continental shelf was pretty rough and it was not the sailing force but the boat being thrown around. However, all scares can be difficult if you're on your own, as you indeed know from your first qualifying attempt.

    I am currently as close hauled as I reasonably can be.  In a junk rig boat it generally pays to bear away and gain  boat speed.  However, at this moment actually making 210 true at 3 kts which I think is acceptable.  If I am find that I can only make east of south then I shall tack and see what I make.

    I have a copy of Peter Hill's account of his transatlantic Jester in a 22 foot junk.  You may care to look at the Jester web site.  He came via the Azores and at this stage was east of me.  I have his days postions on a chart.  Mind you he is the junk seafarer, married to Annie Hill. www.jesterinfo.org/petehilljc.html  worth a look.

    I have no information about the race other than the snippets that I get from you and Jane.

    Where is Foula  Jane told me some days ago that he was only a few miles away but he did not appear on AIS or as a light and I could not raise him on VHF. Stealth boat!

    What is the story on poor Paul Brand?  Jane says he has pneumonia.

    Currently engine charging which is still taking almost two hours per day. I daren't use the towed generator because the ammeter is swinging the wrong way and I need to prove that it is just the ammeter wired the wrong way round and not a cross over of the feed and return.  So that will have to wait until harbour.

    Please keep the info and suggestions coming.  text is still good because this comp will only go on once a day or less.

    Tomorrow one week, inshaallah, and soon after that maybe about half way, DV.

    Fresh spring green, carrots and pots tonight and tomorrow before they go off.  Spam tonight with.

    Cravendale filtered milk highly recommended. Still fresh and staying fresh when opened.  Good coffee and tea.

    When I have done the midday log entry etc I consider opening one of the family's red cross parcels or cards still on board from the OSTAR. However, if I don't feel the need I am keeping them in reserve.  So far, Kendal Mint Cake "For that Everest Moment" one day and mixed fruit and nuts on another. I opened the Life is Good squeeze ball with the smiley face previously , also the monkey neck cushion.  Both look at me.  Monkey is dressed in Beeley the dog's lifejacket.

    Things could be worse.

    Just reread Paul Heiney, Last Man Across the Atlantic, for the umpteenth time.  Very good.

    Very relevant and helpful.

    Yours aye;


  • 08 Jun 2011 22:09
    Reply # 616369 on 578295
    Received from Jonathan:
    Dear All
    I will keep this short because it is not easy at least for me to use a laptop on a small boat.  Also because although I have received e mails, attempts to reply to anyone except snods@tesco.net result in "computer says no" , something to do with a limitation on my subscription.
    If anyonen does wish to get a message to me the best way will be to send a sms text up to 160 characters from either a laptop or a phone to the Iridium on Lexia which is alwyas  on.  00881631589343
    Well into Day 4.  The first 4 days were bloody awful.  Despite Stugeron and yellow wrist bands I was prostrate with sea sickness.  It was sea sickness that  broke me and made me give up on the OSTAR.  I struggled and did the minimum and managed a little water and juice but atepractically nothing for 3 days.  I was trying to maintain a good lookout for the many commercial vessels, fishing vessels and of course the race fleet.  On the edge of the continental shelf it was distinctly rough.  There were good winds however and Lexia made over 100 miles on Day 2.
    On Day 3 I became very concerned with the mast step at the foot of the main mast.  Lexia has two unstayed aluminium masts.  It was making a lot of groaning and graunching noises and moving in all directions except  up and down.  Twice reluctantly I reduced the mainsail turned back and sailed for an hour towards Falmouth thinking that was the end of the AZAB.  Twice I then hove to and had another look.  I rang Robin Blain of Sunbird Yachts, James Taylor, support staff, and All Spars of Plymouth.  That was all useful but of course any decision to carry on had to be mine.   I took the floor boards up and did what I could by way of tightening any bolts.  At least with my head down there the sick went straight into the bilge!  
    I think that it may be that it was the severe motion of the boat that results in the worst of the noises and movement and not the effects of the full sail.  So, I am back heading to the Azores, w hich seem to be an awfully long way away.  I will keep a watch on it and keep my fingers crossed.
    The sea became calmer last night as we got into the Atantic proper and with a steady wind that kept the boat more stable life became more manageable and comfortable.  There are no commercial vessels appearing on the AIS.  I then crashed out for lots of sleep.
    Today I felt almost human again and have drunk and eaten and got the boat tidy.
    You can all see what is happening in the race but my information is limited to what I receive in SMS messages.  I have just received on from Jane which says that the other tail end Charlie, Foula may be nearby.  I can't see him.  When I could see him on Day One he did not have his AIS on.  Oh well, maybe I am about to be last.  However, I understand that there h ave been a number of retirements.  However, for Lexia and me it it KBO.
    Please do not expect regular missives and blogs etc.  All too  difficult, at least as yet.

  • 08 Jun 2011 01:44
    Reply # 615515 on 578295

    I just sent this email to Jonathan's Iridium phone":

    Watching AZAB tracking and leaderboard, and glad to see you still battling it out for last place! Keep it up! Go, Lexia, Go!!!

    And got this reply:

    vmt. v rough, sea and me. poss az but no ab. sell boat on jra web, delivery not incl. reg 2 all. jds

  • 07 Jun 2011 23:42
    Reply # 615386 on 613344
    Deleted user
    David Tyler wrote:I just looked at:

    Jonathan isn't lying last! There are two boats behind him, but one of them appears to be heading the wrong way...

    What a fantastic tool to watch a race. Huzzah!

    I set up a fan pointing toward me and got a spray bottle of salt water to spritz myself in the face.

    And I was THERE!

    ;-) Thanks, David.
  • 05 Jun 2011 12:41
    Reply # 613344 on 578295
    I just looked at:

    Jonathan isn't lying last! There are two boats behind him, but one of them appears to be heading the wrong way...
  • 17 May 2011 00:58
    Reply # 592698 on 578295
    Hi Jonathan

    Many thanks for the update. I'm really pleased that a second bus came along. I would not have minded in the least lending you my Aquair but as you're now 'sorted' we can each explore the wonders of the device and compare notes later. Perhaps you can add the wind vane functionality - Ampair appear to be still producing the 'hoist in rigging' kits. Then you'd have the best of both worlds - water turbine under way, and wind at anchor should you ever stop off anywhere to enjoy the scenery.

    It's all hands to the pumps here - we have to vacate our flat in Brighton by Saturday so tenants can move in. We therefore become boat nomads from Thursday. Mixed feelings of course - why are we doing this, is it a good idea at our age, I'm sure you know the sort of thing. Oh well, time will tell. Keep me posted on your progress and have a good trip to Falmouth. Say hello to the old place for me - we enjoyed living in Penryn for just over a decade before London-born Maddy hankered for big city lights again.

    Best wishes

    Brian Kerslake
    Mentally somewhere between Brighton apartment and Portland Marina
       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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