14th January

Captain’s Blog

Those of you who are expecting by now to be eagerly watching our progress across the Southern Ocean towards Cape Horn may be mildly surprised to see that we remain firmly tied up alongside in Auckland.

We spent a very busy week or so following the New Year holiday tying up some outstanding jobs above and below decks to ensure that Tenacious was in the best possible condition to depart for this exciting voyage across the remotest and least-frequented waters in the world.  On Wednesday, just as we felt things were coming together in readiness for our sailing the next day, the engineering alarms sounded for an earth fault.  Thorough attempts by the engineers Niall, Pete, and Assistant Engineer Phil, to isolate the source of the earth by isolating electrical circuits individually in turn failed to identify the source, which meant that the generator itself was at fault, and
a quick visit to the generator room confirmed this.

As it was by now the early evening, and voyage crew had joined that afternoon, the generator was left to think about what it had done until the following morning, when an electrician was able to attend.  He called in the big guns from a local company of motor winding experts, who, after looking at the state of the alternator windings (the alternator being the bit that generates the ship’s power, and somewhat larger than the one keeping your car battery alive), declared that the alternator would have to come out and go to a workshop facility for diagnosis.

Yesterday saw the alternator dismantled so it could be removed from the ship without opening the soft patch (the removable patch in the main deck designed to allow machinery to be lifted out of the hull), and carted away for treatment.  The news came back later in the afternoon that a full rewind is required, which will take a few days to complete.  Currently we are expecting it to come back on Wednesday morning (Tuesday evening UK time) to be refitted.  This allows us time to open the soft patch (not a simple task) so the whole assembly can be returned in one piece, speeding the refitting process.  Watch this space for further news!

At the same time as this diagnosis coming in, the main refrigeration plant, which cools both the walk-in cool room in the galley, and the freezer down in the aft pump room, decided, after a few days of faultfinding and rectification, that it was going to give a terminal cough of compressor oil and stop working (again).  As we had been struggling to keep the freezer and cool room down to temperature for a couple of days, I decided at this point that the best course of action to keep the food from spoiling was to offload it all into a shoreside chiller.  After a few phone calls by our agent, we managed to get a refrigerated truck from one of our suppliers to come and cart everything off back to their depot, where they agreed to look after it for us until the on-board facilities were fixed and proved.  This takes the pressure off somewhat and means the fridge contractors can come back on Monday (thus avoiding overtime charges), make the repairs, prove them and then we can get our stores back when we’re ready.

The delays caused by both of these faults are, of course, massively frustrating, but we can take some comfort that both failures were unforseeable, and therefore it is most definitely a Good Thing that they happened here in Auckland, rather than in 2 weeks‘ time when we will be far from any source of support.  So we are now patiently waiting for the contractors to work their magic, with the voyage crew able to experience a bit more of what New Zealand has to offer, and the permanent crew carrying on with their sterling work, ensuring Tenacious is as ready as ever to face the Southern Ocean.  Unfortunately the delayed departure from Auckland means that our planned stop-off in Napier, prior to our final clearance out of New Zealand, has to go by the board, as does any possibility of pausing at the Chatham Islands.  Provided, however, that we experience no further snags and the generator gets back together on Wednesday, we should still be roughly on schedule as far as the ocean passage is concerned.  Five and a half thousand miles is still a long way to go though!

Captain Chris Phillips

22nd January

Today’s blog is brought to you by Forward Port Watch (aka Kate, Chris H, Chris R, Chris S, Jane, Sally, Peter, Paul & Tony).

We are currently off the East Cape of New Zealand, after just over 24 hours of sailing. Having left Auckland over a week late, we have a lot of catching up to do. We are no longer stopping at Napier or the Chathams, but are motoring with stay sails set in a south-easterly direction hoping to pick up some wind at 50 degrees south.

This morning we passed the active volcano of White island. The other natural excitements have been seeing a whale while on watch last night as well as several pods of dolphins and a glorious display of Southern hemisphere stars including, the Southern Cross, the Milky Way and Orion holding his sword erect. Kate, our glorious leader, saw an albatross this morning.

The unnatural excitement was caused by someone flushing a wet wipe down the heads which caused them to block and then overflow into several  cabins. The culprit is swinging in the breeze from the yardarm!

23rd January

Hello from Aft Starboard Watch, somewhere south east of New Zealand, where on Tenacious it feels like ground-hog day. It’s Monday again because we crossed the international date line, as we sailed out of sight of land.  The next land we see should be South America!

We’re currently on watch in the drizzle, very different to the lovely afternoon we had yesterday while various voyage crew climbed aloft to loose the gaskets.

Our esteemed watch leader, Frankie, is the latest victim of the ship’s cold, but we are powering on as best we can!

Fore and aft sails are set, along with some of the squares, as we continue making good time motor-sailing along our course.

Knot-tying lessons are in full swing, and all voyage crew have had the opportunity to take the helm.

Our love to all at home, Aft Starboard Watch (Frankie, Rosemary, Louise, Roy, Frank, Ted, John, Jay and Charlie).

24th January

Our good progress continues after days runs of 175, 201 and 189 miles and we are some 10% of the distance to Stanley. We should pass about 90 miles to the east of Chatham Islands at about midnight tonight. Yesterday’s rains have stopped and seas remain slight with confused low swells which are making the ship move easily. The temperatures still remain warm.

The ship has been busy with both full ‘fire’ and ‘man overboard’ drills conducted, several ‘bracings’ of the yards and other sail work, and today we enjoyed an excellent talk this morning on sail handling theory from Mate Ali. Cook Ian has now succumbed to the ship’s cold and his duties have been taken over by Cook’s Asst Tracey.

Our watches are settling into their routines and the permanent crew continues the serious work to preparing for the Southern Ocean with sailor strainers fitted this afternoon. There is still a fair amount of bird life around with several albatrosses spotted.

Brought to you by the Port aft watch Mike T, Mike N, John H, Maggie, Peter T, Phil, Fran, Stretch and Peter H.

25th January

A clear sky last night enabled the midnight to 4am watch to gaze at the stars and contemplate the infinite.  The morning brought clear blue skies, sunshine and numerous aerobatic performances by Northern Royal Albatross and a few Petrels.

Flowers were ordered to be sent to ship’s cook Ian to wish him a speedy recovery – but Inter-flora refused to deliver to our location! In the meantime our fabulous cooks assistant and team of helpers have done a great job in keeping us all well fed and happy.

Although we are technically in the “roaring forties” the wind is a mere whisper.  We have been promised more exciting sailing conditions further South and we and the ship are well prepared for that. Each day we learn a few more ropes and the whole daily routine is becoming more embedded.

Love and best wishes to all at home from “Forward Starboard” watch – Laurie, Chris, Tink, Ryan, Jeff, Eammon, Ruth, Tim, Catherine and John B.

26th January

We’re sitting on deck in the sunshine with a good breeze blowing this afternoon, last night’s fog on the 8pm to midnight watch seems very far away. It was a proper Sherlock Holmes job; thick, shifting banks of damp air that soak right into you. It was mesmerizing too, oddly adding to the growing sense of the vastness of this ocean. Fortunately, it also helped cool us all down after we had finished bracing the yards; an effort which gained us about 0.3 of a knot – it all adds up!

There’s been a lot of talk about navigation on board since Roy gave his excellent talk on celestial navigation yesterday. It was the first in a series of talks and practical sessions that he’s got planned and we’re all really excited about them. In the midst of all the “nav chat” Tony noted that we’re heading for a latitude which is only slightly lower than the average age of the voyage crew – which is probably hovering somewhere over the South Pole!

We’ve currently got quite a lot of bed sheets drying in the breeze, only the Royal squares aren’t set and we’ve got a couple of stays up.

The latest lurgy update: Paul is now back in the land of the living and not looking too much the worse for wear. We’re still slightly wary of an “Alien” moment whenever he sits down to eat, but so far so good and he seems to be genuinely well on the mend. Unfortunately, Peter has now taken over the lurgy watch and is currently in his bunk doing battle with the evil bug! He’s being well looked after and we all wish him a speedy recovery. Cookie Ian is still missing in action, but Tracy and the galley crew continue to do sterling work in his absence. Well, the sun’s gone now and my fingers are getting numb, so that’s all for today. Burn’s Night tonight, but I’m sure tomorrow’swatch will fill you in on that. I’m off for a brew! Cheers!

Port Forward: Kate, Sally, Jane, Paul, Peter, Tony, Chris H., Chris S., Chris R.

27th January

Yesterday’s Australia day celebrations ended a little muted for the Aussie contingent when they lost to the Brits in a cricket match played at the TSSCG (Tenacious Starboard Side Cricket Ground).We (Aft Port watch) were on the First Watch (20:00 to 00:00) and after setting more sails, bracing the yards to perfection and turning the ships head due east, it allowed the captain to finally switch off the engines – Hooray!

We’re now well and truly into the start of the Southern Ocean with following winds and swells getting onto the large size allowing us to make good progress in the right direction. Both the thermometer and the barometer are both falling rapidly and it’s warm layers and off-shore wet weather gear for all except for Stretch who still insists on wearing shorts!

Well that’s a Kiwi for you. In the past few minutes we’ve seen a pod of dolphins which contained at least 2 species. Mike H was able to get a good picture of one of the larger dolphins which will be added to the growing number of pictures on the computer which we will all share at the end of the voyage.

That’s all for now folks. Love to all our families and those following us on the blog and on the ships tracker.

Aft Port. Mike T, Mike H, Peter T, Peter H, Fran, Maggie, Stretch, John (stuck in the galley) and Phil.

28th January

A cool but smooth sailing morning, saw the significant promotion of “Prince” Adam from BM to cook’s assistant; rumour says he will be demoted back to BM after many cookies going missing.

After smoko this morning an inter-denominational church service was held on deck. When we set the main t’gallant sail yesterday it was torn so today work started aloft to replace it.

We have lovely blue skies, the wind has moderated compared to yesterday, no items being thrown about in the lower mess, no large rolling from the ship today. However, we’re currently being followed closely by some threatening squalls, hopefully, they will arrive at 4pm, when we come off watch.

Not many Albatross for company today but unfortunately some plastic debris was spotted floating by, even here in the  middle of nowhere. Some excitement last night when a plane was spotted at around midnight –  it’s great to know civilisation is still present in this empty part of the world. The wind is due to move to the south west sometime tonight and build again.

The temperature is slowly dropping approx. 11 degrees today, the sun is out, it is a pleasurable day.

Wishing all back at home happy times miss you all.

From John B, Ryan, Tink, Jeff, Chris, Tim, Ruth, Lorri, Eammon and Catherine of Forward Starboard watch.

30th January

Well the Southern Ocean has finally given us a taste of what it’s capable of. Last night we had a busy watch bringing in sails in several passing squalls with winds approaching 40 knots. Just as we were about to go off watch congratulating ourselves on staying relatively dry a much larger than usual wave broke and swept across the bridge-deck. Paul was on the helm…. just saying… It was a lively night for us and the other night watches.

Sunday was otherwise a restful day with no “happy hour” and a very well attended morning service led by members of our watch. The first edition of the ship’s newspaper was published and a good read it was too.

The bosun’s team had a less restful day repairing and re-fixing the damaged main t’gallant. They really are an amazing and tireless team.

The other good news is that Kate, our lovely watch leader, is back with us and the ship’s lurgy seems generally to be diminishing with cookie Ian now back on his feet and most others recovered. Amazingly we haven’t had a single case of seasickness despite the big seas of the South Pacific. Everyone is in good spirits.

Love to all at home from Forward Port (Kate, Jane, Sally, Peter, Paul and Tony, Chris S, Chris H and Chris R)

Aft starboard watch on watch at 48 degrees South, longitude 150, same time zone as Alaska.

Sunny yesterday morning when the main topgallant was restored to its proper place. Sunny again and 8-9 knots in SW winds this afternoon, but our 20.00-midnight watch was spent in a westerly gale force tailwind (with rain).  10 knots achieved before the foretopgallant had to be furled. Then some rushing around in the dark heaving on lines until we could stop and go to bed.

This morning Louise has been restored to life and is back on watch, hooray. Nature notes: Pilot whales in great numbers observed off the starboard side yesterday afternoon. We now know the quickest way to get everyone up on deck. Albert the albatross continues to keep an eye on us, and there are small, as yet unidentified birds (which are not flying fish).  Social notes: long-running murder game starts at 4pm. Our watch won the picture quiz so go for it me hearties!

Sent to you by the aft starboard pirate crew:

Toothless Ted

Pugwash John

Blackbeard Roy


Roughstuff Rosemary

Frankie Belle

Capn’ Jay Sparrow

LouLou Topgallant

Charlie Darling

31st January

During their epic passage voyage from New Zealand to the Falkland Islands, the crew of Tenacious have donned their journalist caps and produced this highly entertaining newspaper.

We thought regular JST readers would love to read this, so we tracked down a copy from our tall ship in the Pacific Ocean.

If you thought The Ashes 2018 (cricket) was finished… think again!

Click here to read!

1st February

Day 23 and we are in the month of our arrival in the Falklands, and over half way to Cape Horn.

With all the changes in the weather, we are becoming more practiced at rope handling and sail shifting. As we are in the midst of two converging high pressure systems, we are currently making slower progress with many sails up.

Captain Chris has a cunning plan  to catch some brisker winds to hasten us on our way to Cape Horn. The cut-off for entering the sweepstake (guesstimating the hour of passing due South of the Horn) is tomorrow, so we are all hanging on his every wise word.

Love to all at home from Forward Starboard Watch: Laurie, Chris, John, Tink, Ryan, Jeff, Eamonn, Ruth, Tim and Catherine.

3rd February

Hello from the awesome (and slightly pink hued) Aft Starboard watch.  The red-handed (red-clothed?) culprit is yet to be found from our midst, but yesterday’s wash resulted in a clean smelling, beautifully coloured set of clean clothes for everyone.  Apologies must go to Louise’s Dad – your Army issue wash bag is now a brilliant fushia colour (“Sorry Dad!”).

This morning we were treated to a visit from a big pod of dolphins of the starboard side, jumping and twisting and generally showing off to all those out of bed early enough to catch a glimpse.

As we sit on watch this afternoon, you would hardly believe we are in the Southern Ocean. The sun is out, jumpers are off and skin is showing for the first time in days. Lots of square sails keep us moving well at the moment, however as the wind is supposed to pick up overnight we all enjoyed how gentle the rolling was last night, allowing everyone to sleep well.

The murders are continuing, with only the serial killers left.  Ali (first mate) struck again during happy hour, Sally took down a permanent crew member during the graveyard watch last night, and Ryan took down Tracey (Cook’s Ass) before spectacularly committing suicide at breakfast this morning.  The remaining murders are taking extra plotting and planning, and some of the dead have been enlisted as accomplices.  Stay tuned…

Signing off as we enjoy this Saturday afternoon of sailing in the Southern Ocean, Aft Starboard Watch (Frankie, Louise, Roy, Ted, Charlie, Frank, John, Jay, and Rosemary, who is currently confined below on mess duty).  Love to all at home.

Day 24 in the big brother boat and there are murders galore happening above and below.

Whizz (third mate) took out two of our watch in a murderous spree worthy of Dr Crippen. Tony was taken out with a deadly sticking plaster and Paul fell victim to a lethal fender. Jane had to commit hare kiri with some chafing gear (no not talc) after catching bosun Stu a good one in the potato locker with a helmet. A set up that took days to pull off.

Pete (second engineer) took great delight in seeing off Chris H (grabbed by the foremast-ouch) but not before he had chance to deal with watch-mate Chris S in the lower mess. Kate was the earliest victim being killed off with a sick bag in the first fifteen minutes of the game. Sally is the last woman standing in the watch, so we suspect her murder location must be the Falkland Islands….

Onto other news, Chris R put on a well attended showing of The Ghosts of Cape Horn to scare us all into submission. The afternoon entertainment today is from the lovely Jane, who will tell us all about the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak. Peter has just come off helm after wrestling with the very calm waters. We have all the square sails up but still struggling to make a steady 7 knots with the iron topsail.

The moon has been treating us to a great show on night watches with an eclipse two nights ago and an amazing moon rise last night, which momentarily got confused with a cruise ship, causing high excitement on the bridge.

Albie the albatross is our constant companion and today has brought friend Alberta with him. There have been more sightings of a smaller, black seabird, possibly a dodo but more likely a sooty petrel.

Ahoy to all at home from the forward port watch – Sally, Paul, Jane, Chris H, Chris S Chris R, Tony, Peter and Kate.

At eight pm yesterday evening Captain Chris was able to announce that we had reached a point just under 3,000 miles to the Horn (about 1,800 miles completed).

Progress continues good with a day’s  run of 182  miles in 23 hours for an average of 7.9 kts. During the night the very fortunate 12-4 watch was able to hit a speed of 12 kts. Seas continue moderate with sizeable stern swells which are making “Tenacious” move sharply and unpredictably. We are shipping occasional light seas amidships. Maximum roll was of the order of 29 deg.

Extracurricular activities are in full swing with the “murder game” well under way leading to a number of sneaky attacks. Also a lottery has been opened up to guess the date and time the vessel will pass due south of Cape Horn light.

Love to all our families and friends from everyone in “Tenacious” and particularly from the Port Aft watch, of Maggie, Fran, Mike T, Mike N, Peter T, Peter H, Stretch, Phil and John H

4th February

Today is Sunday Feb 4. After a Service conducted by Mike N where hymns were sung, scriptures read and prayers of thanksgiving were lifted up, we lurched into the ‘Furious Fifties’ at lunchtime in about Longitude 130deg West, with Mike N at the helm.

Winds are WxS force 7 and have propelled us to a good day’s run of 184 miles at an average of 7.6kts. We are sailing with upper and lower topsails plus courses on Fore and Main together with the Mizzen staysail and inner and outer jibs, which is giving us steady speeds in the area of 7kts. The ship is moving easily and decks are dry though the two foot high door stops are mounted on the outside doors as a precaution. Alby is still with us, much to Fran’s delight as that is her nickname.

Today also marks the latest edition of the Tenacious Times, put together by our brilliant editor Mike T.

Click here to read.

Brought to you by the Port Aft watch in the charge of Maggie while Mike T is on mess duty, Fran, Mike N, Peter T, Peter H, Stretch, Phil and John H

5th February

Current sea  temp 7C, outside temp 7C, steering 075. Sea is relatively calm. On starboard tack with a gentle lean.

Had some charming duck for tea last night, which was rather spectacular. Sometime while consuming dinner we passed the half way mark to the Falkland Islands. The smooth motion of the ship last night meant most people had a reasonably good sleep.

One whale was spotted last evening, frolicking off the starboard quarter. Prince Adam opened the barber shop this afternoon handing out a series of possibly stylish haircuts.

There is a concern about the levels of remaining ginger beer on board, rationing is a possibility, perhaps this watch could buy up all the remaining ginger beer and sell it back at a fair price, it’s all about supply and demand, and our watches welfare.

We have been experiencing varying winds, causing the royals to be set and furled on a fairly regular basis, keeping all hands busy.

Our watch did discuss a new watch leader system, where people could nominate for watch position of watch leader, and the crew would vote for the preferred watch leader, then those watch leaders could choose their watch, however, each day, everyone’s name would be put in a hat, the person drawn out would have a get out of their current watch free card.

Just for the record, ‘A team’ on our watch is currently the better team, and is sensational.

Poor Teddy boy, (bear) was an ocean trail blazer by having all his head of hair removed the other day, causing great concern amongst the albatross community as their nesting ground has been depleted.  Ted now looks a rocking punk fella.

Forward Starboard. xxx

6th February

Day 28 and our course is beginning to resemble that of the zig zag track of the “Edward Sewell” which took 67 days to round the Horn…..

Our wonderful Captain Chris last night gave us a briefing on the complex weather systems currently prevailing and the course  adjustments required to keep us moving roughly in the right direction.

Our watch last night was one of frequent course changes as the wind headed us on every heading. This morning we wore ship – bringing her stern through the wind to get on the other tack. A bit like jibing a dinghy but much, much slower.

As I write this on the afternoon watch the sun is shining and we have a long, slow Southern Ocean swell and bracing wind coming up from the Antarctic. It’s the first day for some time we’ve been able to get a good noon sun sight under Roy’s superb tutelage using his sextant which came from a WW2 German U Boat – but that’s a story for another day.

Although our constant albatross has deserted us this afternoon there are dozens of Petrels swooping and gliding around the ship. We were hopeful they were indicative of whales or dolphins but no sightings so far today.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve now passed “Point Nemo” – the oceanic point of inaccessibility – or in layman’s terms the furthest point you can get on the globe from land. Our nearest neighbours are 28 miles above us in the space station… from now on as we sail steadily eastwards and become increasingly accessible.

Love from all in Forward Port: Kate, Chris H, Chris S, Chris R, Jane, Sally, Peter, Paul and Tony.

7th February

#To the tune of the Hokey Pokey#

We put the Royals up,

We take the Royals down,

We put the Royals up and shake the sails out,

Do the bracey bracey,

Do the bracey bracey, and Wes turns around,

That’s what it’s all about!

Hello to the avid readers of our little blog, wherever you may be in the world! Above is a little insight into how Aft Starboard is keeping themselves entertained in the Southern Ocean.  This afternoon we are again heading in the right direction, as the call of ‘All hands to bracing stations to wear the ship’ has been on repeat over the last day and a half.  Happily for us, the weather report is allowing us to be sailing south east this afternoon.

Roy and Jay have been carrying the good name of our watch in the galley in the last couple of days, Ted has taken some photos with his selfie stick from the top of the foremast, Frank and John continue to keep lookout and helm with alacrity and Charlie is completing his wobble-board exercises every time the ship rolls. Rosemary feels confident having learnt the correct technique to haul on a line, Louise has been seconded as a bosun’s mate’s assistant, and our esteemed leader Frankie is trying to keep us all sane and maintain some semblance of order amongst us.  Life remains hilarious and slightly crazy in the Aft Starboard watch as we send our love to those at home.

P.S.  Chris, Adam, Eli and Katie (BMs) send their love to those at home as well.

8th February

30 days in. Having steadied on our point of attack to the Horn to dodge the circling storms we’ve had a steady 24 hours of decent sailing with favourable winds and progress in the right direction.

So it’s just been a routine day with the usual sail tweaking and we’ve just broken out the t’gallants. Smoko and Happy Hour this morning and a nice pasta lunch. Our albatross has re-appeared to keep us company and some Hourglass Dolphin were spotted last evening.

All was pretty quiet this afternoon as the reliable Aft Port team keep us ticking off the miles. No sightings of Captain Chris pacing the deck today so assume all is proceeding to plan.

So that’s all for today to our landlubber families and friends in the other world.

From Aft Port – Phil, 2 Mikes, 2 Petes, Stretch, Maggie, John & Fran

9th February

All is relatively quiet below deck, while on the bridge our watch peers into the encroaching fog, just in case anything, anything at all, might appear. The ocean is ever changing and gazing out to sea is never boring.

Beautiful albatrosses swoop and skim the waves to our delight. Last night one even, obligingly, positioned itself in front of the sunset on cue: await the photographic evidence in due course (the whale may have been photo-shopped).

Above our heads the bosun’s mates and “volunteers” enjoy the rollercoaster ride out on the yards, while they replace the upper topsail which has been taken down for repairs.

On we sail, steadily, towards our destination, as always thinking of those at home and sending our love.

Forward Starboard Watch: Laurie, Tink, Ruth, Catherine, Chris, Jeff, Ryan, Eamonn, Tim and John.

10th February

Here we are on day 32 in the big brother boat and this is what most of us hoped we were signing up for! Sailing along in 30 knots of wind with the most spectacular swell, but it is all behind us and it’s pushing us along in the right direction with the ship touching 12.2 knots for short periods.

The good news is this weather is expected to keep pushing us along for the next couple of days. The Southern ocean looks quite spectacular as the tops of waves are blown away, the wind roars through the rigging and waves come through the scuppers – usually when we have just flaked the braces out ready for one of  3rd Mate Wes’s “little tweaks” just to get that extra half knot of out of her.

Considering we are at 53 degrees south, it is not even that cold at this time in the afternoon. The only people not enjoying these exhilarating conditions are those in the galley and those trying to eat meals!

When we left Auckland we were 13 hrs ahead of UTC but we went back a day when we crossed the date line after a few days and we were suddenly 11 hrs behind you, but we are catching up one hour every 15 degrees of longitude, which is approximately every 4 days, and now we’re only 7 hours behind everyone back in the UK and should only be 3 hrs behind by the time we arrive in the Falkland Islands.

Finally, our game of murder is drawing to its climax as Sally, the last surviving member of Forward Port watch, was killed in the foc’s’le whilst cleaning during happy hour. Only a handful of people left now but it has been good fun and a test of our imagination to get our unsuspecting victims into specific places with set murder weapons! I think the permanent crew are glad when the game comes to an end as the voyage crew stop being so suspicious when they are asked to carry out a task.

After a great afternoon of sailing, it is now time to sign off just as the sun comes out to cap things off.

Kate, Jane, Sally, Chris x 3, Peter, Paul & Ton

11th February

206 miles noon to noon.  Go Tenacious!

Westerlies at 30 knots+ with 5 square sails set. The sun came out at 13.25 today, there were stars in the sky at 22-24.00, but mostly cloudy.

The sea-monster who is after Charlie caught him in a big wave on the weather deck thigh-deep and there is video evidence from Paul. Aquatic theme continued when the 2nd mate sat down with a mug of tea just as we plunged into a trough, and the tea flew around the upper mess. Fortunately not hot tea, and Frankie was wearing waterproof trousers just in case.

We had sad news yesterday that the porridge had run out, so the early birds (bird’s the word) filled up on cereal before it was revealed that the cook had magicked up some spare porridge. Mutiny might otherwise have ensued.

Charlie rang the bell while on the helm last night, but we don’t mention it. Frank and Rosemary would like to emphasis the lovely temperature of 9 degrees this afternoon,  and Roy enjoyed the stars during last night’s watch as we pointed out the Southern Cross to the northerners. Frankie is rueing the seasick steriliser in the galley, Ted and Louise are recovering from spending 7+ hours on the main upper topsail yard while the sail was replaced, and Jay did a commendable effort in the laundry yesterday as we all have clean clothes.

John would like to mention that the surest way to keep the rain away is to send the entire watch below to don their oilies.  We will not get wet!

Love to all reading this blog as we continue our venture across the ocean.  From Aft Starboard Watch (Frankie, Rosemary, Louise, Ted, Roy, Jay, Frank, John and Charlie).

Hot off the press… the latest edition of the Tenacious Times is here!

Click here to download and read.

12th February

It’s Monday afternoon and we’ve moved yet another hour closer to UTC / GMT, so we’re only 6 hours behind the UK, with 3 more clock changes to go before we reach the Falklands. Another milestone reached today, that of having sailed over 4000 nm since leaving Auckland – which seems so long ago now.

After a wet and fairly miserable start to the day, we are now under mainly blue skies, although we’ve just been overtaken by a squall – when the wind increased by almost 10knts in under a minute. We handed (took in) the very top sail on the main mast (the Royal) in double quick time and then squared the main yards to get a better angle to the wind and therefore increase our speed. It’s all about getting the most out of every wind shift as we can feel the need to get to both Cape Horn and the Falklands as soon as possible.

As the weather is so kind to us today, there are a number of volunteer climbers up the main mast to get yet more photos of this stunning area and some BMs are working on the ripped course sail – let’s hope they can fix it today so that we can use the sail soon and get even more speed.

The ‘When will we pass south of Cape Horn’ sweepstake has its first date tomorrow, but no-one who chose that date is expecting to win! There are lots of bets on the 17th / 18th / 19th days and a few for even later. We’ll have to wait and see who gets closest later on.

That’s about it from a really beautiful Southern Ocean today. We wish you all the very best wherever you are in the world.

Aft Port:- Mike T, Mike H, Peter T, Peter H, Stretch, Phil, Fran, Maggie and John.

13th February

We smashed the thousand mile barrier this afternoon; it took two crew members struggling and wrestling with the ships wheel to crash through the line, marking the momentous moment of crossing the thousand nautical mile mark to Cape Horn. Much cheering and great hurrah occurred on deck, as quiet time below meant only Starboard Forward and Charlie celebrated under sunny blue skies.

Last evening we thrilled to a glorious night sky, entertained by a myriad of stars, a scattering of planets performing pirouettes across the sky, chased by satellites and one lonely plane.

In the wee small hours of the dawn, a coiling fairy wearing green and gold satin pyjamas sashayed onto deck, seductively whispering in the officer of the watch’s ear of an overflowing head in the port fo’c’sle. Tinkerbell then waded away from whence she had appeared. It caused us some little consternation this morning when we realised that Jeff had disappeared upwards to practise his darning on the Main Course (that’s one of the sails) and wondered what that said about our company. Rest assured, we are all having a wonderful time and are appreciating every moment.

Laurie, Tim, Ryan, Chris, Ruth, Tink, Eamonn, Jeff, John and Catherine

14th February

So here we are enjoying a day of great celebration, 14th February, in the middle of a southern ocean gale. Due to weather conditions the celebration of Ash Wednesdayhas been personal and reflective.

The postal service in these parts of the world is somewhat limited, so the celebration of Valentine’s Day has relied on the email system, but many have managed welcome contact with loved-ones at home. The main celebration has been that of (Medical Purser) Alan’s birthday. A rousing (if slightly discordant) chorus of Happy Birthday To You greeted Alan’s appearance at morning ‘Smoko’, for which Ian had managed to produce the traditional cake (despite needing a number of attempts to get cake mix into the oven).

Rumours that Alan would announce his retirement with immediate effect now he has hit 60 proved ungrounded – just as well as for all of us, as the amount of work he does with his quiet efficiency, keeping us all safe and tidy, cannot be over stated.

On the sailing side we are making good progress towards South America with the wind now on the beam. It is reasonably warm, the sea state is entertaining and there is some precipitation around to wash the salt spray off the chart house windows. All in all another great day in sailor’s paradise.

Forward Port (Kate, Sally, Jane, Peter, Paul, Tony, Chris x 3).

16th February

Following another exciting night’s sailing, with waves pounding us from all sides (just like the movies!), today we have calmer seas and wind with all square sails set again. Yesterday there was a partial eclipse of the sun witnessed by those who were awake. Entertainment continues below with both people and galley utensils being unexpectedly propelled in multiple directions.

Last night Fran slid off the deck box feet first and ended up hanging inches from the deck by her waist harness, just as the angle of the ship made the bell ring yet again and Maggie topped 13.1 knots on the helm. Much hilarity ensued. Against all these odds, Cookie continues to provide very welcome hot food…last night a delicious Thai Green Curry followed by fruit crumble and cream, and lunch today was homemade bread rolls and chips. We are currently sailing east at 55.50 south, 81.42 west and just 450 miles to go to Cape Horn.  The excitement is mounting.

Aft Port Mike T, Maggie, Fran, Peter T, Pete, Stretch John, Phil and Mike H

18th February

Greetings from a chilly but sunny Southern Ocean. Yesterday, we were excited to have the first ship on the radar for several weeks: a container ship, 14 miles away but not visible. However, this afternoon we were even more excited by the glistening appearance of a sea mammal alongside us, probably a sea lion, but possibly a seal. Our leader Laurie’s aptitude for spotting is much appreciated.

Also much appreciated, was a good night’s sleep last night due to calmer conditions. Another of yesterday’s highlights was having every available sail set. Today, we are heading North East, in anticipation of picking up the favourable Westerlies which should carry us down to the Horn.

Forward Starboard Watch continues to enjoy themselves!

The penultimate edition of the Tenacious Times is here, from the epic New Zealand to Falkland Islands voyage.

Take a glimpse into life on board the tall ship, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as they head for Cape Horn.

Click here to download.

19th February

This first entry is being written by forward port watch in the wee small hours of the 19th as we missed our usual afternoon slot due to a lot of sail handling.

Progress has been slow over the past 24 hours and we needed the iron topsails (engines) for about 10 hours, but the westerly wind has picked up in the last few hours and we are now only 60 miles from the Chilean coast and 230 miles from Cape Horn. Most of our votes in the sweepstake for guessing the time of passing due south of the Cape Horn lighthouse have been and gone, and it is now looking more doubtful as to whether we can accept the Governor of the Falklands kind invitation to lunch on the 23rd.

Last night was the long awaited quiz night which was great fun and eventually won by the forward starboard watch in a close fought match. We were on watch and so working at a disadvantage, but did not come last!

Tonight is a gloriously starry night and the space station has just passed overhead – the nearest people to our ship, only 28 miles away! It is now 28 days since we last saw a ship. We are managing over 7 knots under sail alone and it is a balmy 8C, so all is well.

Kate, Sally, Jane, Chris x 3, Peter, Paul and Tony

Tally ho! Chaperinoes….from near the land of fires(Tierra del Fuego). We are approximately 55 miles from the south American landmass on a track to pass betwixt Islas Diego Ramierez and Islas Ildefonso.

Currently underway at around 7 knots with almost a full press of sail, minus course and  main staysail.  A few midshipmen have been taking star sights under instruction from captain (retired) Roy Swan, and have deduced that the GPS system is around 20 miles off. Crew have been well fed with the addition of birthday cake due to the ship’s doctor’s (Catherine) birthday, Huzzah !!!

Crew have been beset with the ‘Channels’ as we approach the end of our expedition, with a jolly few this morn turning out on deck to set sail. Also an opportunity for a voyage Able seawoman to go aloft and tweak the fore-course buntlines. Ahead we are looking forward our last few days at sea and also to the hospitality of the natives within the Falkand Islands. baaaaa!!!!! Hola mi famila todos esta bien.

Aft starboard Powder monkey Edward Edwards xo  

20th February


Well, after 30 days at sea, we have all passed from the Pacific to the Atlantic by way of Cape Horn. It happened at 15:00 hrs (ship’s time) today, 20th February 2018, a date that will live long in the memories of all the crew, whether permanent, volunteers or voyage. For all but a very few, this was the first time around the Cape, and for some of those who have been here before it’s the first time under sail.

The rounding was celebrated in true JST style with a mast climb in swimwear – including a ‘coconut bra’ for one of the lads! We also spotted 2 lesser-climbing personnel going up the mast, who turned out to be Cookie and Medic. The whole lot was rounded off by an outbreak of Caribbean shirts sported by the Deck Officers as well as Bosun and a lot of his Mates, both official and unofficial.

At 15:25 all of the crew mustered on the bridge for the Voyage photo and Watch photos to be taken, all with The Cape in the background (we hope).

Now to the future…. Falkland Islands here we come, but we’ll leave others to tell you all about it when it happens.

Take care, everyone and those abandoning ship in the Falklands will see you soon.

Aft Port watch – Mike T, Mike H, Stretch, Peter T, Peter H, Fran, Maggie, John and Phil.  `

22nd February 

Our final day at sea dawned to beautiful sunshine and wind speeding us in the right direction towards the Falkland Islands. The end of any voyage brings mixed feelings of sadness that it is coming to an end, anticipation of what is to come next, happiness at new friends made and the huge sense of achievement after such a momentous voyage as this one.

An email from Andy Bristow of the International Association of Cape Horners summed up the feelings of many, “As you will know only too well, no voyage culminating in such a symbolic milestone will have been without its highs and lows, challenges and problems. It is the mutual respect borne of a shared understanding of those perils, uncertainties and rigours that you and the crew will have endured that binds us together as a community of friends, shipmates and comrades….Please pass on our heartiest congratulations and the admiration of your peers to all on board; conveyed on behalf of all those who have previously had the privilege to witness the humbling experience of discovering the full power of the elements, and the magnificence of being propelled through the world’s most remote oceans under the propulsion of sail.”

Farewell and best wishes from the South Atlantic from Forward Port- Sally, Tony, Peter, Paul, Jane, Chris S, Chris H, Chris R, Kate and all on board Tenacious


Ultimate voyage reflections from Forward Starboard:

Awesome unforgettable privilege

Wind not cooperating

Crashing head-on waves

Bonding hilarity adversity

Coconuts tweaking grindy-pepper

Ruth wins sweepstake

Opportunity tolerance baggywrinkle

Awesome natural world

Bucket list ticked

Worth every penny

With lots of love from Laurie, John, Catherine, Chris, Tink, Ruth, Tim, Eamonn, Jeff and Ryan

8th March 

Tenacious sailed across the Pacific, rounded Cape Horn and completed her epic journey to the Falkland Islands.

Over 8,000 miles away at the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s HQ, our office team have been enjoying reading the ship’s blogs and newspapers over the last 6 weeks – we hope you have too!

Fortunately the crew have sent one final edition of The Tenacious Times, and here it is to read.

Click here to download