FROM 1-11. South Atlantic-26°S

Apr 13, 2005 - 2330hrs UTC

2330hrs 13 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 165

Today has been, like the Curate’s egg, good in parts. Started in high good humour as the wind swung round to the south east and seemed to be settling in – we thought we had managed to hook into the SE Trades a bit early. Sadly, not so – hopes evaporated when I pulled in the grib file and found that we are once again on the back of another high and due to be headed again severely over the next two days. Patience and perseverance recalled to duty and here we sit, rolling less than wildly with the #4 and the trisail (great rig – balanced and not too powerful for the short beam seas) galloping us ENE to get as far across as possible before the wind starts to back and we go round with it. We are into day 19 out of Stanley and a bout 1700 miles north, so we are about two days behind schedule for a 70 day trip. All back of envelope stuff and we should catch up  bit once we get above this stream of highs and headers.

Getting warmer and more humid every day. I’m sweating gently as I sit at the nav table at around 8pm local time. Cant open any hatches except the top of the storm boards as there’s lots of water and spray over the decks so quite uncomfortable. We are approaching the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) around the equator, and the cloud cover is growing and the cloudbase descending – just like in the southern ocean on the other side of the wall, but WARM! I hope we can cobble together one clear night, a high pass and a bit of luck in the next week or so to crack the R/V with the ISS. NASA sent Leroy our video last week – we haven’t seen it ourselves so I hope it was worth the effort and he found it interesting. He is due to return to Khazakstan on April 25.

My foot seems to be healing – thanks John re superglue advice – we have some in the kit but I had completely forgotten. The Doctor clearly slipped up during the Consultation.

We had intended to empty out the boat in Stanley, dry it out, clean all the spaces and then restow, but the weather and the difficult berth we were on made that impossible. Consequently, there is stuff stashed away in wet and mouldy hollows that’s been there since Hobart. Erk! I started on one bit today and – wonder of wonders – found the knife I lost way the other side of the Horn – must have been thrown across the boat in some big roll and buried itself in a daggy heap of wet plastic bags. Nice to have it back. And yesterday Pete found a bag of my clothes – shorts particularly, that had been stowed for resurrection in Stanley. But we cant find the half litre of Betadine, taken from the heavy kit for Pete’s hands in the pacific and carefully put somewhere so we could get it easily…using metho as temporary antiseptic.

John and Sherryl, good to hear from you – State Champions hey, John! Congratulations and well done. And don’t be fooled – all the expensive gear only makes the boat go as fast as the skills of the crew can drive it – you guys must be pretty good. Berri training helped, we hope!

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