Dalton makes last ditch attempt to get his bulb back

Graham Dalton is convinced that the lead keel bulb which has separated from his boat can be found in Fortaleza Harbour, and has commissioned some local divers to help locate it. It took Dalton a few minutes of sailing on the open ocean to notice the lack of the keel bulb, but now he believes that the bulb had already come detached before he’d even cast off lines from his harbour mooring.

However, even if the bulb were found, there would still be much to be done before Dalton could think about rejoining the race. During the past few days alone, he has faced his rudder cassette being shattered on a submerged object, a severe bout of illness and all his vital communications equipment being stolen. Dalton could be forgiven for bowing out from this race with honour.

But while even a glimmer of a hope remains, the tenacious Kiwi appears to be holding true to his mantra of “Go hard or go home.” If by some miracle he does manage to find the sunken bulb, he then needs to raise it to the surface, have it reattached to the boat and be absolutely confident that AGD – A Southern Man is seaworthy again before he attempts the final 3,000 miles to the Leg 2 finish in Norfolk, Virginia. Bearing in mind the task ahead, Dalton would be hard pushed to make the restart for the final Leg 3 to Bilbao on 15 April.

One thing in his favour, however, is that there is a shipbuilder in Fortaleza which builds superyachts. So if he can retrieve his bulb, the expertise should be available for reattaching it safely. However, this really is the thinnest of silver linings around a very big and dark cloud over Graham Dalton right now.