Not all challenges are created by wind weather and ice, just keeping the boat in one piece is a challenge in itself and particularly so when the boat is relatively new to its owner and crew.

Despite the many hours and long days spent over 3 months preparing the boat for this trip it is impossible to cover all eventualities and even when new components are added you cannot be 100% sure that they will not fail, e.g the need to replace the new Digital HD Radar after only 1 month.

So just in case you are wondering why we have gone backwards and returned to St Anthony, here’s a heads up.

We were about 60nm north and flying along when the steering system locked up midships. We could steer to stbd but not to Port. We rigged the emergency steering (fortunately we had modified this for ease and practiced). We sailed on to Schooner Cove and completely stripped the steering system, right down to the last nut and bolt.

A bearing in the lower level gearbox had failed, scattering bearings around and allowing the shaft to twist which in turn has broken off a piece of spline (this is what caused the jam) and a piece of the quadrant gearing.

I called Lewmar on the satphone, they are shipping all parts today and we hope to have them early next week. 1 day to rebuild and off we go again.

So far the boat has provided the biggest challenges but then that was not unexpected.

We have had a range of conditions and she is fast and comfortable in all. 11.2kts downwind with double reefed mains and 9.5 to windward with full jibs and double reefed mains.

We will have lost the time allocated to smelling the roses along the way but still have time.

Ice waits for no man!