Mute companion. An albatross accompanies Henrik Masekowitz on the last miles
The worst assumptions have been confirmed. Apparently Henrik Masekowitz broke his right foot on Thursday night. This was the result of a consultation by satellite phone with Dr. Steffens from SeaDoc, who advised the skipper medically.
Occurrence is still impossible, which is why the solo skipper moves hopping below deck and avoids walking on deck, as he describes in his most recent email for YACHT online (see below). Masekowitz is tough; in the summer he finished a regatt with a broken hand. But the foot injury is too severe and painful to consider sailing on.
That is why his wife has prepared an emergency plan for the arrival at the port from home. With the support of Trans-Ocean, the long-haul association, which only a few weeks ago awarded her husband a prize in absentia, she organizes help for the last maneuvers before mooring and the transport to the clinic. There are two possible ports to choose from, both of which were still c350 nautical miles away from the position of the "Croix du Sud" on Sunday afternoon: Cape Town or Saldanha further north.
Henrik Masekowitz will only make his choice for one of the two marinas at short notice and depending on the weather. He has already been assured of support at both locations. This is what he will need, because lifting sails and putting on just one leg are not an easy task in wind and waves.
Here is his latest blog post about the feeling of being prematurely at the end of this great journey:
“Today is a really nice sailing day. The sun shines down from the blue sky, peppered with small white spots. The deep blue of the South Atlantic is also peppered with small white foam crowns. Every now and then a couple of my faithful companions.
They follow the boat for hours while flying smoothly. Almost without flapping their wings, they circle "Croix du Sud". The flying skills are really impressive and amusing me a little, they distract me from my ailing foot. That, on the other hand, is not beautiful at all, slowly changes its color - even in blue!
Together with Pink Floyd from the loudspeakers a pretty mean mixture of feelings. Every morning I think, 'Oh man - the pain is gone!' Then I try a step and that's it. Nothing!
It's good that I also have lifelines inside the boat, which extend continuously from the companionway to the foredeck. I am currently hanging around them on one leg, hopping back and forth between the stove, bunk and companionway. I don't crawl out anymore, or only extremely rarely when it's really necessary.
I am actually scared. Fear of losing your grip in pain. That is why sails remain sails and reefs reefs. At least I manage to lead the boat at 10 knots in the direction of Kaphorn. Not an easy task under these conditions.
But as I said, today is a beautiful sailing day. If I manage to block out all the shit for a minute, you might think it couldn't be better. It's wonderful sailing. Alone, down here, where there really isn't anyone. The feeling of freedom and all that one is looking for on such an adventure is suddenly there. Forget all everyday worries, inside turns outward and thoughts are free.
Moments of happiness, you might think. If it weren't for the low blows too. Going through such a journey is mentally a journey into the unknown. But either way, the journey seems to be over for me after a month and ten days. That's a shame and I'm very, very sad about it. I had such great ambitions to make my dream come true.
Mr. Erdmann, you are and will remain my hero.