Just 650 miles to go to Canal

Sailing schoolboy Mike Perham, 17, who hopes to become the youngest solo yachtsman to sail around the world is just 650 miles from Panama.

His latest log reads: ‘After a fantastic day’s run, the wind began to drop off slightly this evening and I’ve now slowed down to 9knots. I’m still chuffed with my progress though as usually in this area by the doldrums the conditions are pretty variable.

‘At the moment, it looks like I could be In Panama for Monday morning, which would be a great result. I’m only 650miles off from Panama as the crow flies, but I think I’ll be sailing around 750miles to get in there. Sailing straight isn’t the quickest way. I’m staying south for as long as I can before peeling off north, almost straight up to Panama. This way I stay in the good winds for longer and will be able to make the most of the current.

‘The sheer amount of random gear floating out on the ocean I’ve come across has been crazy. Today, as I came on deck this morning, I looked out to sea and 10ft away was a large fishing buoy with a flagpole attached. This is a typical marker for something like a lobster pot which would have been a short way offshore. It had obviously come away from whatever was tethering it before and had drifted all the way out here.

‘The moment I saw it I immediately thought that one of its trailing lines would wrap around Totallymoney.com’s, keel which is nothing less than a perfect hook – especially as we were sailing on the leeward side but, thank goodness, as we sailed straight past at 11knots, nothing got caught and it continued to bob away into the distance and out of sight.

The ocean really is full of junk in places. Apart from several mooring buoys I’ve also had a close encounter with a huge 10inch towing rope stretching further than I could see, in the middle of the Southern Ocean, thousands of miles from anywhere. I’ve seen countless random plastic bottles and small bits of rubbish just floating about in all sorts of places around the world.

‘It’s the end of a food week today, so the choice is pretty poor for dinner – oh well, at least I’m going to have a fantastic selection tomorrow!’ More at www.sailmike.com