FROM 2-12. Lisbon-Equator

A Crux be upon us!

0700/31st position 0234 02202 trip 95/24 154 miles north of the Equator but about 162 to sail on this heading. We should cross at about 02251W if this holds.

Middle watch and the torpids again. Almost clear out there – fluffy Cu and some wispy high cloud -altostratus perhaps. And a blazing moon so only first mag stars dotted around the firmament.

I'm mortified and gobsmacked. Umpteen times I can remember thinking '12v fan!' in Falmouth and saying to myself that it had to go on the list. But it didn't and wow do I regret that one as we swelter inside a closed down Berri in the tropics. 'T'ain't no fun not nohow not never!

Carol – I found the BBC World Service for West Africa on 15400 – reception pretty awful but nice to know they are still out there. And if you google quickscat you should find that it has nothing to do with tiger hunting and lots to do with wind.

Brief word of explanation – in the 0700 position reports I sometimes put a distance to Falmouth. This is always the straight line or rhumb line distance, derived by plonking the cursor more or less on Falmouth and reading off the distance to ship on the scale on S0B. However, there's a lot of more and less in that rather arbitrary and slack process. On the smallest scale on the chart, the tip of the cursor would cover a lot of water – Falmouth to Portland, perhaps – so the measurement is very much more or less. When I take the time to zoom in on St Anthony's Head, the cursor covers a table at the back of the Chain Locker or Gordy's fish box. Rather more accurately, I find that Falmouth is 2995 miles away. We have sailed 3514 miles according to the GPS so about 519 miles further including into Lisbon and then around the curve of West Africa.

For the first time inwhat seems like weeks there's a clearish horizon to the south and YAY! Crux, Gacrux and all the mates are up there serene and beautiful. Berri's first sight of the Southern Cross since mid Pacific last year.

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