Sir Robin rounds Cape Leeuwin with a full cellar

“Passed east of Cape Leeuwin at 1745 local time last night and so re-entered the Southern Ocean with a deep breath!. After a morning of light and variable winds the strength increased but it had been a tight beat all afternoon to clear the Cape and its outlying rocks but we had a wind free just when we needed it. I hate sailing along a lee shore when the wind is strong as you know that only a small thing has to go wrong and you have nowhere to go but the beach so it was a huge relief to get clear and into open water.

This is my 4th rounding of this Cape, which with the Capes of Good Hope and Horn marks the points to be left north for a proper circumnavigation. This was clearly an important “Headland” and was celebrated properly. The cellar has been replenished thanks to friends and I have a sufficiency of Auchentoschen, Lagavulin and Bushmills to get me to Cape Horn at least, well, that depends a bit on what happens between now and Cape Horn of course, but I am reasonably confident of not running out this time. Many thanks for the kind consideration of my friends for this vital contribution to my welfare. There were quite a few merchant ships around Leeuwin, but we crossed their lanes without incident. This caused a delay in my headland celebrations but Neptune and the boat received their obligatory offerings at the time.

After that it was a quiet night and I took the opportunity to catch up on much needed sleep, waking every hour for a check and half an ear listening for the radar alarm. The fact that I can now set a course by the wind instruments is a delight and the pilot has only failed once, when it was overpowered by a gust, which was hardly its fault. The Iridium phone, new in Freo, on the other hand, has decided it only wants to do internal calls so is US at the moment which means I cannot download weather or make calls on it but we are working on that. The Fleet phone is working. The wind is S x W to South with occasional squalls so we are making a course of SE. Not bad but I need to get south as soon as possible to find the favourable westerlies due in a couple of days. In the meantime this wind is expected to back so fast progress cannot be expected for a while. RKJ”

Picture: Wolf Marloh