The last few weeks have been rather hectic for Graham. He has been interviwed so many times by so many different organisations that its hard to keep track, just type Graham Walters into google and you'll see what I mean.
His plan was always to find a maritime museam in Antiqua to house the George Geary rather than shipping her back to UK. After some difficulty he has found a home for her at the AYC Antiguan Yacht Club, Falmouth Harbour, where she will be on permanent display.
As regards his return to UK he quickly realised like the rest of us that finding a flight was easier said than done, with many flights being cancelled at the last minute and a voucher being offered instead of a refund. He decided the best bet was to sail home and found himself a crew place aboard Celtic Spirit a super yacht which sails 10.00am 23rd May bound for Dublin, estimated arrival 5th May.
After a day of nail biting anxiety with the strong winds in danger of blowing him past Antiqua, Graham finally makes it ashore. Even with the Covid restrictions still in place a small collection of boats gathered to welcome him into English Harbour.
The wind is still blowing from the South East, but Graham is confident he can make Antiqua and expects to arrive in 13 days.
The boat has sprung an additional but not serious leak. The rowing seat has been repaired so many times that Graham fears it will not last the journey and is contemplating how to row without it.
The rest of the call was spent with Graham asking me about the Covid pandemic and how life is here back in UK.
Next update 23/04/20
Graham reports the wind blowing from S E and gradually making it more and more difficult for him to maintain a course for Antiqua which is now directly West.
The day before our conversation he'd had a very pleasant exchange with a pod of Minke whales. Apparently they were some distance away but one of them broke away and came over to Graham, it was small so Graham assumed it was an adolescent. It spent the rest of the afternoon swimming around the George Geary and occasionally pearing up at him. Eventually an adult appeared and led the young one away!!!
Weather still scorching hot
He's been experimenting with the battery which failed at the beginning of the journey, not having a correct fuse with him he substituted it with a thick wire and now the battery appears to be working (watch this space!!!)
Apparently the sea has calmed considerably but the wind has swung around to the west ie directly against him. This is not only slowing his progress but at times is blowing him backwards!!! He reckons this will add 2 or 3 days to his journey time
The air temperature has gradually risen and now it is scorching hot. The deck is actually burning his feet. The only relief is to take a dip in the sea. Only thing is there's a hammerhead shark lurking about which occasionally zooms in and takes one of the tuna sheltering under his boat!!!
He reports the leaks are abating with him having to bail out less.
Graham reports strong winds and the sea state building with waves of upto 4 mtrs. During the heavy rolling Graham stumbled into the cabin doorway and has bruised his ribs badly
He continues to have no luck fishing, the fish are nibbling at the lures but not biting. His water and food are lasting ok with no shortages predicted and the hand pumped water maker available if needed.
The rowing seat continues to be problematic despite Grahams numerous ingenious botch ups. The leaks have got no worse.
Graham reports that in contrast to every previous crossing he has not seen a single vessel!!!
Next report 02/04/20
Graham reports a favourable westerly wind direction and a good sea state.
The only breakages reported are the wheels of his rowing seat which have come off yet again. Meanwhile Graham has found a forgotten manual water maker buried under all of his supplies. If he pumps for 50 minutes (approximately 2000 strokes) he can produce half a litre of water!!
In order to give him a bit of variety with his diet Graham has been fishing, so far without success. Meanwhile when he swims under the boat cleaning the bottom a two meter tuna hovers nearby!!
Next report 26th March