FROM 1-12. 26°S-Nose Brazil

Apr 21, 2005 -1100hrs UTC

1100hrs 21 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 177

Our dig out to sea yesterday paid off earlier that expected – the wind freed a bit in the evening and we were able to tack back on to a course parallel to the coast and abut 200 miles out. Still holding it this morning and fingers, toes and prehensile eyelashes firmly crossed. Still not easy but ok as long as the wind stays around 20 – 22 knots and the sea stays down. About a 1kt adverse current, as expected

Jan K, thanks for warning about tropical ulcers on the bum – exactly what I’ve been afraid of since we got on to the roller coaster down by Montevideo – seen them before and terrifying for us in this situation. I already have the little red blistery bumps and I’ve been doing a lot of standing with light airy pants and no undies. We have a couple of bits of foam rubber which work as pads under the thighs to transfer the pressure when we have to sit. No way of avoiding the motion of the boat though. I’m treating mine with metho and savlon, but there may be something more effective in the medical kit. Any suggestions? Burn cream? Betadine, if we can find it? Is there a doctor in the house? Michael G, if you’re still following the saga, could you please advise?

Not much else to report. Lots of flying fish, only one seabird in about two weeks, Portuguese Men O’ War around, Dinos in full bloom at night. I looked at the water yesterday in bright sunlight to see if they are visible – there is what looks like brown dust on the surface and tiny silvery reflections just below and as far down as I could see.

Bucket of scrofulous cans going down reasonably well but there’s a sensible limit to the rate of depletion – too many big ships around for comfort. Still using Hobart bacon and cheese, Falklands spuds and eggs and onions. Arlette’s dunkin’ shortbread still going too. Mungies germinating properly in the warmer climate too, as a bit of fresh protein. On to canned and dried food mostly and soaked dried fruit and muesli for breakfast. Cup of two teabag tea in the middle of the night for me and blast off coffee first thing.

Leroy and Salizhan return to earth on Monday. Looks as if we will not crack that rendezvous now – the moon is nearly full and there’s too much ambient light, even if Leroy has time to look out of his window, which I doubt. Berrimilla weighs about the same as the capsule that will bring them home.

Hope you’ve all got your party hats for tomorrow. 39 years ago, I was packing my suitcase to emigrate to Oz – we had a big farewell birthday party at home and a couple of weeks later, I was in Perth. Then Sydney after hitch-hiking across, then Brisbane with Adastra by the end of May. If anyone is interested in that particular hat, literally, have a look at www.adastra Fascinating record of a bit of Australian aviation history. Another link with NASA – Wally Borman bought one of the aircraft (the Mustang) after Adastra sold it.

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