5 December 2020
The good news is that today (5th Dec) the new J2 sail to replace the sail destroyed in the storm has arrived in Ponta Delgada. Thank you One Sails and Peter!  We hope the wind will be quiet enough on Saturday to fit it to the main forestay .The plan then is to make a test sail early next week, to make sure Rosalba is ready again for the ocean.
Less good is that by Wednesday next four weeks will have passed since Rosalba arrived here. The Vendee Globe race fleet has long gone south, with all the boats well into the southern hemisphere. What has been happening to some of the skippers and boats in the Vendee shows not only the risks but the importance in the case of absolute need of being able to look to others for support, a hallowed tradition of the sea. With a precious month lost and without having boats reasonably close by to me, going across the southern ocean would carry additional anxiety and risk.
So I have been thinking hard about what now makes sense.
Changed circumstances call for a new approach.
I will not now be sailing onto Cape Town and into the Indian Ocean. To do so would imply a passage across the southern ocean without others in proximity and late in the austral  summer season, approaching Cape Horn towards March. That would not be wise or reasonable. Also, the challenges of the past weeks have reminded me of the passing years. I shall be 66 in a month.
Instead next week, after the trial sail, Rosalba will head south again for some days, with a focus on establishing a good rhythm with the sea.
Stay posted.
Best to all you,