FROM 1-10. South Atlantic-Going up

Apr 02, 2005 - 1100hrs UTC

[ed: some back dated updates retrieved from cyber black holes…]

1100hrs 02 Apr 2005 UTC

Brittany, thanks for message – will try to get back into sailmail but depends on signal – Malcolm is sending pass times – all seem to be early AM GMT and we will do our thing with spotlight whenever we have a clear sky. Will save flares for prearranged pass if feasible. For Leroy, we are tracking NE about 500 miles off and parallel with the S American coast at about 4 knots. I doubt he needs an exact position for every pass but I will try to send you at least one prediction each day. We’ll crack this r/v sometime, with a bit of perseverance. Presumptuous, but please ask him to pass on our phone number to the new crew if they want something silly to do in those idle hours. We’ll be down here somewhere till January if all goes to plan.

We’ve been in a propagation hole unable to connect with sailmail chile for more that 24 hours – I managed to connect using their 5mhz frequency last night – very slow and the frequency doesn’t work – keeps sending error messages and very frustrating – so decided to download entire backlog from all y’all in one hit – took about 35 minutes of nail biting tension watching it all come in, desperate byte by desperate byte. Should be about 2 minutes’ worth in good conditions. Anyway, will have to be a bit conservative with connects this week. But thanks everyone for messages – Is, glad you’re not pushing xit uphill and using normal pump against head, just like us. Thanks for doing DVD for NASA.

Yesterday we passed two fishing floats about 500 miles from Montevideo – they seemed to be attached to something underwater – a real worry for us as they are not visible at night and if there are long lines out here, we have a problem big time. A day of sunshine and frustration – no wind, no contact. And an adverse current of about 1.5 knots – more than 30% of our speed thro the water, so headbanging in earnest. Can one headbang out of earnest??

We have a big supply of dried fruit – see provisions list for detail – and we actually got down to the bin it is all stored in a day or so ago when we were drying out after the storm. I am chopping up a mix of everything and soaking it in water overnight for next days breakfast. Goes well with muesli and I guess we could always ferment it if things get pearshaped.

The solar panel has now come out of storage and gets pointed at the sun whenever possible – really effective contribution to battery charge and gives about 4+ amps in full sun correctly oriented.

Seabird species are different – smaller, more flappy, generally browner. Some flotsam – Pete saw a fluorescent neon tube float past – and we’re getting ready to have our 40 South party. It seems to have been just over the horizon for days and days but now quite close.

Michelle, you asked us what we do when things get rough – like most simple questions, there are both simple and complex answers. I’ll try to give you my version of both next episode as long as we can keep talking to chile. Pete can do his.

And there will be a discourse on mental plots – if I can get my head around it.

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