Roaring Forty #5 – Dodge the Orcas (08 Oct 22)

Ahoy crew,


Its good to be home as I ease back into normal life and sleeping on a mattress not the old canvas a pipe cot!


After a five day transit from the UK……yep five days due to an engine change…..I am now back in Australia trying to catch up on admin duties so you can follow along this wild ride that will be the GSC. No doubt like me you have all been busy watching the Globe 40 and GGR events with some Imoca action thrown in. Watched a great doco on the flight called ‘Explorer’ about Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Highly entertaining and absolute legend.


I have uploaded my videos to my YouTube Channel Aviator Ocean Racing – Roaring Forty and rebirthed my GoFundMe page which somehow made itself obsolete.


I have spent the past five months in The Netherlands, Belgium, UK and Spain as I prepared Roaring Forty for her short passage to A Coruna. Fortunately our Bay of Biscay crossing in up to 30knots was fast and uneventful with one exception early in the evening.  

A large dark whale that was easily over 30 foot long with a smaller dorsal fin that an Orca, surfaced right next to my port bow before dived under and across my bow never to be seen again.  Whatever it was, it certainly needed to review its oral hygiene, as the blow off stunk!


Orca attacks along the Spanish coast are on the increase and certainly keeping the boatyards busy. There were three yachts attacked in a couple of days when I arrived and then another five in 2 days just before I flew out of A Coruna. Who knows how many yachts were attacked and limped into other ports during that month. Even sailing in convoys failed to deter the juvenile Orca gang members……that approach simply provided more target practice opportunities by concentrating yachts in close proximity!


I could not think of anything worse than spending three years working toward starting the Global Solo Challenge only to be struck down by an Orca and losing a rudder shortly after departure.


I chatted with one owner who permitted me to take the attached pics that shows one spinnaker pole jury rudder method they used to motor 25nm back to A Coruna. The biggest challenge was the pole rotating in their hands……..the right angled rudder likely contributed to that situation……oh and they were young and fit and absolutely knackered! Food for thought.


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