Race 3 - Day 17
Crew Diary - Cape Town, South Africa to Albany, Australia
17 November

Nicholas Abramczyk
Nicholas Abramczyk
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What day is it?

What time is it? We are now UTC +5...yet another step forward towards Australia.

So as many of you know or many or you might not now I was raised in the wilderness and mountains of Wasilla, Alaska, USA...ha...if you count the people as wild things that is...actually Wasilla is quite the metropolitan of towns...has a highway, some big box stores, Sarah Palin...huge. What is huge around this town that sits in a valley...are just amazing mountains from horizon to horizon. I've been into climbing them my whole life...just hikes, not roping up and scaling the face of the mountains, more like drive my car to the base of the trail, have my backpack full of treats, H20 and my favourite post summit indulgence...peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There is something so magical about hiking in Alaska, the lush green trails, the views of massive glaciers that have been on their slide down the peak long before I came along. A certain piece comes over when you look all around you and all you see is beautiful nature, birds, often of course I prefer to hike on sunny days, but I'll hike rain or shine, or snow for that matter. Sometimes I'll be joined by four legged friends who chase squirrels and run ahead, find random streams and mud to roll in and just have a jolly time. Milo, Rocky, Marina...oh how I miss your wagging tails and tongues hanging out of your mouth on our hikes!

So why I am sharing this story about mountains? Because, out here, in the wilds of this raw expansion of our vastly watery planet, I am surrounded by mountains...sea mountains, that move like out of control freight trains...in all directions...and speeds and sizes. Just never seen such raw beauty, it is as if earth is out of control and we are witnessing it first-hand. As a crew we can't decide what is more scary, night or day...the other night we were hammering along heeled over and just screaming...the waves would pick the stern up and swing us to windward the boat would seem to giggle as the helmer drove the boat and sails back on course...you could not see the waves...but you sure could HEAR them...WHOOSH...CRASH...you know that sound when you go visit a rocky shore or a beach with big crashing waves...it is the same sound we hear out here...just massive. I'd say we are terrified...but we are strangely not, we are thrilled like riding a dangerous roller coaster that you know is massively insured...during the day when we can SEE the waves...that makes me GULP...it is RAW NATURE...and lo and behold, it is beautiful. I know it sounds crazy, and it sure is to be so far away from all of you and far from anything. But we are seeing untamed, unharnessed, not to ever be taken for granite, Mother Nature. We all just want to safely and faster than our competitors, get off this ocean.

Weather...not as cold, not as wet, and not as windy...but all of the above in the right mixture and we have been making some impressive miles towards our goal of Australia...fact.

What we see...finally some stars! Spectacular. Night sailing...still cannot ever describe what it is like at night...we can see the sea spray as we move along at speeds exceeding 20 knots...in the distant horizon as your eyes try and adjust to the darkness you can see clouds and squalls, sometimes with lightening. It really looks like the end of the earth. Last night the moon slipped behind the clouds and our stern as it dipped into the dark sea...it looked like a bright banana because it was all lit up bright yellow...it just slipped away. Round the world crew member Alex Laline thought it was a ship

wildlife...other than the crew of ClipperTelemed+...we saw these down right cute little dolphins, so cute and perfectly shaped half-moons you could just pick them up and put them on your mantle. They just appeared and swam in our wake...the Albatrosses we've come to have mad respect for these birds who live in the Roaring Forties. Honestly, google them, they are amazing.

Mothers: Leg 3 and 4 crew member Barnaby Web and Nicholas...yours truly. We kicked off breakfast with some PANCAKES! A first for ClipperTelemed+...who doesn't love warm buttery pancakes on a cool crisp morning with excessive maple syrup...for lunch I whipped up another one of my "don't worry you will love it..." soup using up all the fixens I could chop up or throw in...of course added some wicked spices...Dinner...CARB TIME BABY. Spaghetti, and lots of it, MEAT and lots of it...desert, I am all for the fruit cocktail...Barnaby is whipping up some tasty caramel dessert...


Sue happy birthday for the 18 November. Have a great day and enjoy Miami. Love to all the family. Nige.

Happy Birthday Nancy Gunter and Todd Howard and a special anniversary wish to Doug and Ivanna Kern. Love, Happy Birthday wishes Linda M!

Well, here are we going: Hello Boyz! Can we call it sailing? Probably yes. Mostly we are competing with ourselves to stay calm and collected in front of unimaginable forces of planet Ocean! We are competing to adjust to the breath of the ocean as it holds us on its shoulders, we are competing to make best food for the crew. Also we do not talk much about our families and homes not to deepen the feeling of total remoteness of our small boat from all what and whom we love. Occasionally, when the sea state and wind give us couple of moments to converse we talk about our families. But I can assure that we think about you every second. Generally life on the boat is full of expectations of something to happen and the attempt to be ready for it. Overall we are well fed, under slept unshaven and trying to smile when possible, so no worries there. Today has been sunny and fast sailing, and tonight and tomorrow- well it will be later. Did I forget to say that we accept delivery of parcels to Australia- so send your parcelling, we will get it there! ( Dmitri Guvakov).

Linda...we love LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! To all of those who know Linda, we now know, appreciate and sincerely adore this special little gem of a strong willed power woman can-do Texan no fear gentlest soul on the boat. From climbing up the 100 foot mast, to just now helming the boat in the Southern Ocean big swells and winds with the kite up hitting an impressive 20.6 knots, to splicing and running all of our lines and just working above and beyond and never once a single peep of complaint, just positive and inspiring. Thank you for sharing this journey with us Ms. Linda, you truly inspire us all. Here’s to you LINDA! Happy 69th Birthday, YOU ROCK!