Chasing the Albatross

My adventure in search of a bird by David Lawson



0 Update added 12th December

  • by David Lawson
  • 12-12-2017

Well we are out of stealth mode and unfortunately we didn’t benefit from what we hoped would be kind winds to give us the wind angle we wanted to make a push for a podium position. As I said, sailing is a fickle friend.

It could still be tight though so we’re giving it all we’ve got and today it has been sail feeding practice as the winds have strengthened, abated and strengthened again. All the activity passes the time and keeps us warm!

It feels like we’re in a grand national race here with the boat taking of as it crests a wave, hangs in the air and the lands. It will be nice when this bit comes to an end as it’s hard work getting around.

I was crossing inside the boat today from one side to the other. Its so much effort and you have to hold on to grab handles and pull yourself up to the other side. Anyway I managed to slip but held on for dear life to save myself going down. How i didn’t dislocate something I don’t know. But all is fine.

It has been lovely and sunny here so it’s great on deck and there are a few very red faces for those who needed more sun cream. A least they now fully blend in with their foulies!

Not much wildlife above or on the ocean to see today which is surprising.


It’s 6am here (7pm with you) and we’ve had a lovely sunrise just after coming on deck at 4am. Last night we had a good display of stars and the milky way stretched from the southern cross constellation on our starboard side over our main sail and finished just below the Orion constellation on our port side.

Gazing up at it there are so many questions that come to mind but it is beyond the scope of this adventure and my mind to even try to understand how it all began and if there is another clipper race across an ocean of some description taking place in a parallel universe up there. If so I hope PSP are a bit closer to the front runners!

This really has been a leg of two halves with the first week being overcast, cold, wet on occasions and with 1000s of square miles of dull grey sea. Now since we arrived just off the southern coast of Tasmania 2 days ago the sun has been out, the sea is blue and it has warmed up. No more drysuit or foulies needed I’m pleased to say, even at night. This is how I had thought this leg would be.

The other watch, between midnight and 4am, had a wonderful display of dolphins playing in the luminescence trailing behind the boat. That would have been wonderful to have seen I’m sure. Hopefully something to be repeated before I come home.

So today we’re aiming to use our cloak of stealth to try and make good ground on the leaders and see if we might just smash and grab a podium finish we’re all aiming for. We’re on the hunt and knocking off those miles. Its going to be tight methinks. We’ll see!!

Its 2.38pm here and we’ve just had a great rice salad lunch prepared by Jonathan (I can make a delicious meal out of anything) Hallam and his sous-chef James (you mess it up I’ll wash it) Hetherington.

So we’re blasting along at 10 knots or so. Sea is calm, wind is consistent 12 – 13 knots and the sun is out. What’s not to like ?

We’re about 90 miles offshore and trying to make up as much time as we can on the leading pack. It has been a meterioric rise up the leader board and we’re all giving it as much as we can. When extra support is needed by a few members of another watch to help with any changes there are no questions asked and the crew are up on deck to help out. It has been a great team effort so far but I think we’re going to need some assistance now to help us onto a podium position. It will be a big ask this time around but we all know that sailing is a really fickle friend and anything can happen! Fingers crossed for PSP.

We had our first shark sighting this morning. There was a call for ‘bait’ but Trevor (our native Ozzie) refused to don his gold mankini and test the waters for us!!

It’s really great to hear we have so much support. Hopefully the Mighty PSP ‘night stalkers’ can pull it off. Watch this space.