Submarine Ahead!

7 09 2011

It has been an interesting 24 hours on BSL. Sept 6th started with a moderate upwind beat in the low teens. It would have been glorious sailing in the sunshine if it were not for the short sharp med chop that built up. We could have had a bonfire tonight for all the wood we chopped this morning. A few sleepless hours as we banged and crashed through the potholes, from inside the boat it felt like we were just banging away and going nowhere. We were expecting a significant header and every sign of the breeze clocking we were itching to tack; but it took quite a few hours for the wind direction to swing enough to justify a tack. Peace and goodwill once again fell upon us once we tacked; and headed off on a long starboard tack to Cartagena.

Cartagena brought a surprise this afternoon; a buoy appeared a few miles ahead of us approximately 20nm from the coast. I couldn’t find anything on the chart, so we kept an eye on it. Ross said it was a windsurfer as it was moving so quick, I had a look through the binos and wondered if the currents of the English Channel had moved to the south of Spain (not a bad idea at this time of year), then said it was a sub. Ross called bull.+’%, and before we knew it approx 2nm off our windward beam a great submarine surfaced. It promptly turned 180 degrees and matched our speed and course and slowly converged on us to maybe 0.5nm and had a good look at us. This generated a lot of speculation: shall we try and luff it? Maybe they have just brought in no-smoking laws on subs as well as bars in Spain, so was it a quick fag break? Are we interrupting some dark ops and will be written off as necessary collateral damage? After about 20 minutes she put the hammers down and steamed across our bow and headed for the coast. This is not something you witness every day, a first for the both of us.

Submarine Ahead!

It was with great sadness that we learnt today of the death of Felipe Cubillos in the recent Chilean air force place crash whilst endeavouring to rebuild areas of Chile devastated by earthquakes. Ross met Felipe in Chile and I spoke to him a number of times on the phone whilst purchasing desafio cabo de hornos, and by all accounts he was a true gentleman and all round nice guy. Felipe was the inspiration behind this yacht that we are about to race around the world; we hope we do him proud with it on her second lap. Our condolences to Felipe’s family and friends, to his co-skipper Jose, and to the Chilean people. Fair winds Felipe.

Ross + Campbell, BSL (ex-desafio cabo de hornos)