Adventurer Halcrow negotiates Bay of Biscay

Andrew Halcrow
Andrew Halcrow has set off on his round-the-world attempt aboard his yacht Elsi Arrub. Photo: Mark Burgess

Global adventurer Andrew Halcrow is making good progress in his latest round-the-world yacht bid which began when he set sail from Falmouth in Elsi Arrub on Monday.

The Burra man had set out a week earlier, but returned to port when unfavourable winds and tides stymied his attempt to clear Ushant on the one tack. Winds rising to gale force meant he had to hove to for a couple of hours with monster container ships and gas tankers rumbling by in the darkness.

On his first departure Andrew’s wife Alyson and her sister Penny and friends Robin and Carolyn Wilson Webb were waving final farewells from Pendennis Point. The second time around only a local journalist was there to wave him goodbye.

He took advantage of the week back in port to tackle some of the jobs that had not quite been completed before setting sail the first time.

Andrew wrote in his online log: “The wind picked up to a good sailing breeze and we were abeam The Manacles bouy about an hour later. The bell rang ‘Ding! Ding! Ding!’ as we passed and I waved it a fond farewell. ‘See you in a year’s time!’ I said.”

He also thanked “everyone who has sent on good wishes either speaking to Alyson or through the website. I won’t be able to reply individually but I am grateful to every one of you.”

Today the 30ft steel yacht was edging past the notorious Bay of Biscay in light north-easterly winds after a good run of 129 nautical miles in the 24 hours up to noon on Wednesday. She had made 100 nautical miles in the previous 24 hours.

Andrew said that progress was not too bad in the light winds except when motion knocked the wind out of her sails. He had Elsi Arrub’s mainsail set and genoa poled out on the opposite side, before the noise of the slapping main got too much and he dropped it.

Earlier Andrew had a nasty surprise when he noticed the base of the mainsheet horse (the framework that holds the mainsheet) had cracked almost halfway round.

“I have lashed it up with twine but am not sure if it will hold in the long term or not. If it breaks completely I’ll have to find another way to sheet in the mainsail,” he wrote.

Andrew said he was reading “a great book by Christopher Clark called The Sleepwalkers, about the political build-up to the First World War and how the statesmen of the time made the, often completely irresponsible, decisions, which led to the slaughter of millions”.


Add Your Comment
  • Bruce smith pund sandwick shetland

    • November 15th, 2013 11:13

    Hi Andrew all the best we your trip. Iam just crossing the bay of bengel on the maersk shipper towing the transocean rather so I’ll keep an eye on your progress as you come this way yes some big boats out there 300 metres long but I see there only doing 15 knots now rather than there top speed of 25 knots price of fuel may have something to do with that. Any way good luck and fare sailing BRUCE


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