It is with heavy heart we must reveal that Frank is finally no more. The crew are devastated that such a close friend, confident and utter workhorse has passed suddenly and will not complete the voyage. They loved Frank and held a 1-minute vigil in memory earlier today.
For those who did not know Frankenhelm, he was a key member of the team – their Wilson if you like. Previous autohelms came and went like ships in the night, breaking frequently and causing continual trauma (and cost) to Endurance Limits. Not so for Frank, who worked continuously for most of the crossing, refusing to die when most autohelms would have long given up the ghost. The relationship was not always plain sailing, with Frank does not shy of expressing differing views, but ultimately never letting the team down. Darren Clawson was seen with a tear in his eye, looking out to the setting sun and asking ‘why Frank? Why now when we are so close?’.
The conditions out there continue to be a challenge with winds blowing across them. They had hoped for conditions to push them home, but as ever the Pacific wants to do it her way and set some final challenges.
They are in a race against some 20knot winds coming soon which will push us west. If they can drop low enough, fast enough, then they will help them for the last few miles.
But, the big news, is that they have sight of land! They are still a long way off but seeing land must have been amazing. They are not sure which island it is yet.
They also had a great exchange with passing container ship who was very interested in what they were up to. It was great to hear different voices and have a discussion.
Latest view on arrival is late evening on the 12th, or the early hours of 13th. Fingers crossed the incoming easterly is not too strong. They are 39.6 miles from their waypoint in the Molokai channel and then they just have about 30 miles the other side.