Saturday, 31 March 2012 | by ADOR
A GREAT TEAM EFFORT
It’s not every day you tip your boat over on its side 1,700 miles from land then drill 32 holes in the bottom to bolt the hull skin back together but this is what we have successfully done. We trusted the experts, followed their advice and thanks to a great team effort we are now far more confident of our situation and of getting Azzam safe. Since the repair we have managed to sail 300 miles east-north east and into more favourable weather.
We are not fully out of the woods yet and must remember that the outer carbon skin of Azzam is only 1.5mm thick and is now totally unsupported by the inner core. It is reliant on the bolts we have put through to hold it all together and if it started to peel, the whole area could disintegrate pretty quickly. This would be a big problem.
Most of the last day I have spent evaluating our options moving forward. Could we still carry on and sail to Itajai and complete the leg as we are? If not where do we head to? Could we make repairs and then still carry on to Itajai and make the start of the next leg? If not how do we get to Itajai in time for the start of leg 6?
These are the questions we have been bouncing back and forth all day with our shore team and logistics guys working overtime at home. We have several major problems. The first is the lack of safe ports of call and facilities on the west coast of Chile. Perhaps more worryingly is the very strong weather forecasts for the Cape Horn region over the next week to 10 days. This is one part of the world you do not want to head out into with a boat that is not 100%. As skipper my overriding responsibility is the safety of Azzam and her crew and this is always at the forefront of my mind. The most important thing right now is that we are in far better shape than we were 48 hours ago and we are moving nicely at 15 knots towards safety. It has been a great team effort over the last few days but we are not getting carried away. Slowly we will sail faster because quicker we sail the more time we buy ourselves to take the next steps. Onboard Azzam everyone remains as determined as ever.
date: Saturday, 31 March 2012 15:57:12 (Arabian Standard Time, UTC+04:00)
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