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At work

Aggiornamento: 13 nov 2023

Vernadsky Research Station, Galindez Island

Another long day, but marked by a good mood: Angelique II has no problem in going back to warm latitudes counting only on herself. Despite the 23 hours of pure adrenaline experienced yesterday, this morning at 06:00h, after just 4 hours of sleep, my eyes were open and the brain already at work.

I realized that the wind had given up and I wanted to get back to Stella Creck's, before it got up again.

So I woke up the boys and within half an hour we were safely and quietely in our refuge with 4 lines well secured to the ground. We had a frugal breakfast and I start with a complete assessment of the damages and work sto be done. I started with a underwater inspection of the hull. We already knew about the detached, but diving underneed of the boat I found one of the blades of the port propeller broken, which was the cause of the great vibration I felt yesterday. Another discover was a large crack on the nose of the port side bow. Every Outremer bow has a sacrificial compartment, made specifically to absorb shocks without compromising the buoyancy of the hulls. Fortunately, the stroke has only broken some outer layers of the lamination and not on the front, but rather 7 to 8 centimeters aft from the bow and about a few centimeters above the waterline. It is unthinkable to imagine a repair without taking the boat out of the water and anyway, again, we do not have water in that area.

It is only a few millimeters of superficial skin. An inspection of the bottom of both hulls, incredibly, highlighted only some superficial scratches. The port side rudder, on which the boat rested after the second bump when we had already lost the keel, appears only chipped at its end without any impact on its functionality.

The inspection inside the boat, however, recorded a detached beaa in the bildge of the port aft cabin and the starboard engine moved by few centimeters. Probably one of the strokes taken on the rocks must have moved the engine that has torn the rubber mounts on which it is sitting.

Dear friends, since I sailed on Angelique II I keep saying that I would not sail on any other boat, but after this experience I really believe that Outremer builds exceptional boats. Not just fast, stable, comfortable, easy to manage and repair, but above all indestructible. This shipyard deserves all my respect and estimate.

In light of the problems identified, we have drawn up a work plan. I would have dealt with replacing the port propeller with the spare one I bought in Puerto Chacabuco in August when, always the same propeller, had a problem with one of the internal sprockets and had to be sent to Italy for repairs. Ijri, would try to put the port engine back in place. These seemed to me to be the two most urgent interventions, so as to restore total maneuverability and efficiency to the boat.

With Ijri we went to the Ukrainian base where Andrei and Dimitri were waiting for us. Andrei is a marine biologist and university professor. Dimitri is a super computer technician. Both divers they carry out projects on flora and fauna in the Antarctic. Andrei is at his 10 Antarctic expedition.

They are the angels sharing yesterday with me the entire adventures. Once I shared with them our repairing program, Dimitri left to come bacltwo minutes later with a tackle and his diving equipment.

We returned to Angelique II where Ijri disappeared in the engine room with the tackle, while Dimitri and I dived into the water to replace the propeller.

Meanwhile Matteo and Dave have shuttled with the base to bring back on board everything we had downloaded the day before and, on the last trip, they also took back Vale and Adela veterans from a long sleep and a five-star breakfast.

Even the people from the ship Europe came to visit us to find out what damages we had. They told us that they would stay in the area for a few days more and offere any possible help if required.

So, between repairs and PR, it was afternoon and I start feeling really tired and my wife categorically sent me to sleep. I slept hard until half an hour ago when hunger pangs were felt. The weather forecast for tomorrow still gives strong winds from the north west, while day 21 and 22 should be two quiet days, so we will stay here guests of our Ukrainian friends one more day.

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