FROM 1-12. 26°S-Nose Brazil &1st circumnavigation

Apr 17, 2005 – 1436hrs UTC

1436hrs 17 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 172

Change of scenery. Massive frontal system passed over us about 4 hours ago – big line squall at the front, rolling into the cu-nims behind – black, low, bulging with attitude. Gerry, if you’re reading this, could you please email my pic of the hurricane isabelle storm with the tanker’s bows in front to Malcolm – just to give everyone the flavour. Dropped all sail, put the headsail away, rolled the main out out of the track so we could use trisail if needed, took the windvane off and waited. Drizzle, darkness, low roll cloud moving in, lightning, thunder, crashing rain, even darker – too dark to read down below. We decided too good to miss so took turns naked in the cockpit with soap and stinging, cold rain. Wonderful feeling, tho a bit scary as lightning still around. Wind so strong, and so much rain, that we seemed to be floating in frothy milk with a bluish tinge. No horizon, no difference between water and sky except grey blue waves shadowy visible beside us. Eventually abated, front passed to the NE and we are now motoring slowly behind it to charge the battery and wait till the lull turns into something we can use. Filmed the front, but couldn’t get the frothy milk effect – just too much water moving more or less horizontally. Later – looks as if there will be more thunderstorms behind – may miss us to the west but I don’t suppose we’ve earned any remission yet.

[ed: Gerry’s photo is here]

We will soon cross the Tropic of Capricorn – level with Rockhampton, still just south of Rio. We will probably not go as far east as 30 W until we get north of Africa, but we have now done the miles for half way round the world, even if we haven’t yet covered the longitude (30 W would be half way as Sydney is at 150 E). Some cause for celebration. But we are a few days behind schedule after all this windward nonsense and the storms further south. Mid June is looking more likely for Falmouth.

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