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

Apr 20, 2005 - 1100hrs UTC

1100hrs 20 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 176

It’s bite the bullet time out here for these little black ducks. We’re in the bottom of the trades, but way too far west – say 300 miles – as a result of the bashing we got further south. The SE trades become NE trades this close to S America so once again, we are hard on the wind. No way we can clear the NE corner and even if we could, it would not be easy once round. We can do just a bit better that Cook in the Endeavour in these conditions – perhaps 45 degrees off the wind – so we’re off on a losing tack just south of east towards Isla Martin Vaz to get us far enough out to pick up the true S Easterlies and give us some leverage. A bit frustrating but that’s the ball game. We’re looking at about two days of it, I think. Belt of huge rainstorms during the night didn’t help, with wind from all over the place and a very big ship looming out of the murk and losing itself again behind sheets of water. Cant ever assume they have seen us so we just get out of the way.

There was a moonbow too – lovely ghostly white arch down moon in front of a big black raincloud with just the hint of a spectrum around it. The whole internal area of the arch was ethereally white too. If there were angels up there, they’d have been blowing their trumpets sitting on the edge of it. I’ve only ever seen it once before, in a recent Hobart race and I think I wrote about it in one of the logs.

Tragedy struck yesterday – or more accurately, we discovered it – our ready use supply of The Doctor and other goodies in our stainless iceboxes have really got electrolysis and are going off fast – we had to throw a few dead ones and we now have a bucket full of corroded but still just ok cans that we have to get through real fast. Lesson for anyone listening – you have to protect them somehow if you store them in metal iceboxes for any length of time.

My ETA – guaranteed to be wrong – for Falmouth, as a guide for any punters, is June 4th @ 1200. Given our present situation, it is far too optimistic.

Malcom – that fellow Bligh who just got into Kupang – wasn’t he on TV or in the movies? There’s an old poster here in the studio. And thanks to you and the others who gave me the railway lines /parallel light rays explanation for the converging down sun effect the other evening. I’m not fully convinced – think about squirting parallel water at your dog with a hose – you dont get laminar flow around its body and the drops get scattered outwards and you can see this from the opposite side of the dog. I assumed I was seeing the reflections from the similarly cloud-scattered light but perhaps not.

Siobhan, Hi – Pete will answer your questions.

JJ, the dodger’s fine thanks – why would you want to change it? The boat is too small for a bigger one. This one deals with green water admirably too – the angle is right. And even I could run it faster!

Helga, Hi – sometimes York St has its attractions!.

Greg – glad to hear about prop (what sort of prop? how did you solve it) and mooring. We’ve been wondering how you and Firebird are faring

George, yes please – a mooring in Lymington from say mid july to Fastnet on 7 Aug would be grand – but we have very limited budget so would take whatever is available in the basement. Thanks.

Gary, well done – I dips me lid to any headbanger who can stick it out for 10 OZ Ironman races. But why? And why are we out here??

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