Lugger's crew still 150 miles away

Pete Goss and his family crew on board Spirit of Mystery are sailing hard to try to make Cape Town for Christmas. They have been hampered by a classic Southern Ocean ‘greybeard’ gale.

The boat is a replica of a Mounts Bay Lugger that was sailed by seven Cornishmen to join in the Australian Gold Rush in 1854. On board the replica, the crew had hoped to reach Cape Town to spend Christmas with their families, but as of 1500GMT today they were making 8 knots with around 150 miles still to sail.

Their local brewery has send a crate of Cornish ale to welcome them to Cape Town, which will doubtless be very welcome. In his latest missive, Pete Goss describes the conditions they are experiencing. “Every now and then a wave gets the better of you and although we managed to avoid a knock down we did get the bulwarks under and lose the boat in broken water. The power is awesome and below it sounds and feels like a car has driven into the side of the boat with a crash. This is followed by a gut wrenching judder as she goes over with a loud rush of water sweeping the deck. Andy had a big breaker and from below Mark and I caught a flash of foul weather gear as he was flicked from one side of the boat to the other like a rag doll on the end of a stick. Despite holding on for grim death nothing but nothing was going to have any effect on the tiller and we are all a bit battered and bruised by the effort. It doesn’t stop there for the weight of the high pressure water is incredible and of course the decks end up fully awash as Spirit of Mystery shakes herself and bobs up undeterred like a Cornish Bulldog.”

Keep up with their progress via Pete’s excellent blog