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

Apr 25, 2005 – 1430hrs UTC

1430hrs 25 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 182

Long list of acknowledgements – Thanks to everyone who mailed us over the last few days – Ian & Maggie, Olivia, Tricia, Johnny B ((thanks for the morale booster – coming from you, dems fightin’ woids), Arlette, RichardD (Pete will write to you) Phil, Hilary, MG, K&C, TimV, – and, of course, Fenwick of the tender feelings to whom we must be ever kind. Hilary sent us some information from the Whitbread site about bum/nappy rash and ulcers – basically, keep it clean, dry and out in the sun – apparently there are some gruesome photos. Essentially, that’s what we are doing.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data (Arthur Conan Doyle, quoted by Dexter, op.cit.). I should never speculate about the Examiner. She’s got us in a band of rain showers and low cloud – windless except under and around the showers, hot, humid, water 29+ degrees. Spent the night in party gear hand steering all over the studio floor from one squall to the next – snaking slowly north but doing it really hard. Sun may change things but not looking helpful just now. Astonishing how quickly the change came in last night – brilliant full moon, clear sky, went below for ten minutes to send message and came up to 8/8 overcast, big rain showers all around. Where does it come from??

Pete saw a pod of whales this morning. He thinks they were pilot whales. By the time I’d got on deck, they had gone.

This update will increment as the day progresses – must go on deck and sort Kevvo. He doesn’t like not having any wind – neither do I. Cloud now gone, endless blue, burning sun (hot from sunrise onwards – real tropical weather.) New grib file looks grim – no wind worth having for at least three days. Risking a bit of diesel to try to get into some wind further north. Will give it 10 hours only, then we wallow for as long as it takes.

Next hurdle for me is the equator – mental and physical – still more than 800 miles away and we’re hurtling towards it at a very slow walking pace. It’s looking to be a long process and the gate sure isn’t open yet. We still need to get 500 miles north to clear Cabo de San Roque. The Examiner’s technique seems to be alternating elation and depression to chip away at the psyche. Won’t work, kiddo.

25/1300 Just tried sailmail – no way I can send this at the mo and probably not for at least 4 hours, so I’ll save it and add as we go.

1430 – glassy calm, some more rain around, so a possibility of wind…Will try sailmail again. Sent one of these through sailmail Belgium yesterday, which must be a milestone of sorts.

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