Lugger tries to make Cape Town for Christmas

In the South Atlantic, Pete Goss and his family crew on boardSpirit of Mysteryare encountering frustrating light winds as they try to make Cape Town before Christmas.

Goss and crew are following in the wake of seven Cornishmen who sailed their Mounts Bay luggerMysteryto Australia in 1854 to take part in the Australian Gold Rush.

In his daily blog, Goss writes: “Well that was a long and trying night of hard work and little reward. We only managed 45NM yesterday thanks to a light variable wind from every point of the compass coupled with rain and waves from three different directions. When three of them combined under the boat it felt like being on one of those stomach tugging lifts as we shot skyward.

The evening started out in good cheer for we treated ourselves to a big fry up with all the works; bacon, sausage, beans, tomato and mushroom omelette. This was to be washed down with a glass of red as a lead in to crossing the Greenwich Meridian.

On eventually crossing the line at 20.30hrs on the 16th Dec it was with a hoot of joy… With rain and a lumpy sea shaking the wind out of the sails steering was nigh on impossible and there was a few ripe words and pirouettes until we stopped dead. It was time to take the sails down and wait for some wind to find its feet.

One in the morning of the 17th saw the sails go back up to find that somehow we were two miles the wrong side of Greenwich! Don’t ask me how for we had been pointing in the right direction all along. In fact it was so ridiculous that we found ourselves in stitches as we tried to get her moving again. So, have no doubt, after two shots at it the Good ship Spirit of Mystery has well and truly nailed the Greenwich Meridian.

It’s now midday on the 17th and I am delighted to say that we have a breeze from the North that is giving us between three to four knots in the right direction. Our hope is to clear this fickle area of weather by tomorrow morning so that we can get back to the business of Cape Town.”

Keep up with their voyage at