I survived the Great Southern Ocean!! I best summarise the whole trip in 4 words – a “Relentless cold washing machine” … with survival, eating and trying to sleep on occasion taking up every minute of the 3 weeks we had out in the Southern Ocean – never a moment for the blogs, writing and reading I had imagined… so, sorry for that! We came in third place … it was a hard slog, but I don’t regret it.
On the second day of the race out of Cape Town I had a small accident that propelled me face forward into the deck …. apart from a small bleed cut on my forehead, the sound of my neck cracking was much more alarming!. In Fremantle I had a CAT scan of my neck … the result is not that encouraging really for the long term … seems I have some fairly bad osteoarthritis but no obvious damage ..other than severe inflammation …that was causing the numbness in my right arm and occasional shooting pains down to my thumb and 2 fingers. They weren’t unbearable, but certainly attracted my attention especially at night.
Their advice was “ recommend rest, cessation of strenuous activity, anti-inflammatory regularly, and return to hospital if symptoms get worse and see a spinal surgeon”
I was very disappointed ….but in the interests of preserving a better physical lifestyle for my remaining years, I decided to withdraw from the next leg. I have a horrible feeling of letting the team down as they are sailing with a smaller crew …. but I have to think of my health first, and so ….I did not get back into the washing machine… just yet anyway! They still finished in 2nd place without me! Update … after lots of good Craniosacral therapy I am fully recovered.
I spent some time with family in Australia, farmers who were struggling with drought and fire, and now am in Antarctica and then stay on the boat via Easter Island to Tahiti for my 70th party in mid April.
It is a time of mixed emotion… in some ways I’m not sorry, as there are some pretty grumpy people on board….which is totally understandable after what they have gone through on the previous legs….and I realize I was lucky, as there were others from other teams in hospital with much worse …with broken ribs, arm etc.
All for now … this video shows how it was many days … the bad ones were too hard to film…the other pic was the only sunny day we had … on my 70th birthday…. 5 days from Western Australia, helming our racing yacht Korea!
Oh .. and it is not too late to donate to help the cause please, as it is not about me – it is a direct ask to help others through my 2 favorite charities : Free Wheel Chair Missionand Fistula Foundation and not to forget the official sponsor UNICEF. Your support for each, or all, will be much appreciated. Perhaps you could consider these for family birthday presents, or for your annual giving?
The race started in London on Sept 1 …. If you want to follow the boat – https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com/race/standings If you press on the boat name – Korea – in the listing, it will bring you to our page. Go to skipper, and scroll down for his daily reports.
We are boat #11 called “Imagine your Korea” – our sponsor – and it’s colour is Magenta Purple on the Tracker. The fleet is just about to leave the Whitsunday Islands off North Eastern Australia as we speak. The official yacht number for other tracking apps such as Marine Traffic is CV20
I still plan to rejoin the team in New York (dep Jun 27) for the last leg of the race via Bermuda and Derry to London ….finishing under the Tower Bridge on Aug 8.
thanks for your support!