FROM 1-11. South Atlantic-26°S

Apr 15, 2005 - 1130hrs UTC

1130hrs 15 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 167

And still here, in a very uncomfortable headbutt into a 30kt North easter which is due to blow for at least two more days. Very frustrating. The trades are just over the horizon to the north and we can’t get there yet. Boat on the port tack, bashing into short steep sea and I’m wedged into the nav table space, knees braced under the table and just about every other muscle working to keep me in keyboard contact. Not fun. May be a bit short on updates if it continues but I’ll persevere if possible.

The laptop is on permanent charge and seems to be running quite hot – I know they generate a lot of heat but should I be concerned? I suspect it is normal, and I just haven’t noticed in the colder south.

Not much to report – Supplies of The Doctor are being depleted according to a corrosion fudge factor and so far we haven’t lost any more. Once the iceboxes are empty, we can slow down again and work on the various other stashes that should be less corroded.

Size of flying fish is increasing – I saw one this morning that I first thought was a seabird. Perhaps we’ll get one for breakfast soon. No seabirds, lots of phosphorescent dinos. Water now iridescent blue and 27+ degrees. Why was it grey further south?

Leroy Chiao told me that he can’t photograph Cape Horn for us because it is always in darkness when their orbit takes the over the top, and it will be so for some weeks yet. I had not considered the trigonometry of their orbit – assuming. I suppose, that they go so fast and orbit so often that they would see everywhere in daylight at least every few days or so. Interesting and I will have to look at the predictor on the internet when we get to England. (Malcolm has the URL if anyone else is interested) [ed] . There must be big areas they don’t see for weeks at a time and it makes our rendezvous even trickier than I imagined. Not long to go for ISS 10 – they leave for Khazakstan in 10 days. We are hoping that John Phillips in ISS 11 will be interested in continuing the contact.

2 more ships last night – one very big one crossed our stern at about a mile. Called them but no answer. Interesting course – came from the west and turned south just behind us. The other one came from the south east and passed astern. quite a long way off.

Croo – keep up the patter please – sometimes hard to respond to them all but v much appreciated. Desperately awaiting exciting news about parsley.

Jenna – I’ll get to it – maybe not today and yes, I’d like to read your article please – send it to the website as an attachment and ask Malcolm to paste it into one or more emails  – Thanks Mal, in advance :-) and please include Jenna’s address in your next – ta.

David – Neptune r/v unpredictable from here but at least 16 days and no, we won’t be swimming at least until the doldrums = dangerous and difficult.

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