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

Apr 26, 2005 - 1240hrs UTC

1240hrs 26 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 184

Relevant Sunday Times crossword clue clue for all y’all, courtesy of my sister: “Howling wind that delights the shopkeeper” 7,5. A pity ours isn’t! I will post the answer if anyone is driven mad by it.

Panic last night – HF radio would not switch on – decided to leave it till daylight then check connections, fuses etc, but then it came on all by itself – no idea what is going on but now a source of tension every time I press the power button. We are in a mess without it as far as all this email goes and would have to rely in SatcomC at 1c/keystroke. Very short updates!. Reluctant to fiddle with it as long as it is still working. Anyone else out there with an ICOM M802 HF with a similar experience? Is there an overheat cut off? A surge cutoff? Will have to read the manual carefully.

We are still moving slowly more or less north, pointing now at Recife, but hoping for a lift (to the right, or east) to get us round the corner in a few days. Not looking promising. Trying really hard not to look at the GPS calculator in SoB as the equator seems to recede into the distance as we move north. Initium est dimidium facti…not! (Dexter again – wonder if that’s his real name)

SimonB, would it be possible to set up the track data as a sort of interactive CD so that people reading any subsequent book could look at relevant days and see what happened in detail? I’m renaming the track text file now every month or so and will save to gigastik – started to read the instructions!

Malcom – I remember talking about the Baffin Island marathon, but we haven’t had an email from you which mentions it – if you sent one, it may have got lost somewhere unless I missed it somehow in the Falklands flurry. As for change in emphasis, I suppose my view of the world changes as we move north. The Horn was a huge barrier, just as is the equator but without the added dread, so Falmouth is much more the focus than is the daily routine. We still bake bread, but it gets awful hot in the cabin during the day even with everything open (not always possible) so perhaps not as often as before. And it hardly seems like news! The desalinator is on whenever the engine is running, but we have enough water to get us home without it. As for wiggly amps, the fine pitch turbine with its broken blade still puts out more power than the coarse, and BP Solar is great in full sunlight, giving about 4 amps, but not so good under cloud. We have enough with both to get by without diesel. Hard to judge exactly, but I think we have about 100 ltrs of diesel left – not really enough but we cant carry anything like enough in a boat this size. 6 jerry cans and a 45 ltr aux tank in the cockpit plus the main tank take up a lot of space.

Barry, thanks for bum stuff – we hope all now under control, but still needs care and attention.

jennifer, I’ll write to you separately, but thanks for Anzac Day note. Glad to hear Leroy, Salizhan and snails home safe. Haven’t heard from ISS 11 crew but we live in hope! They have our number. Our contact with the ISS seems to have touched the imaginations of just about everyone we have heard from – certainly grabbed ours – and there’s a kid in the Falklands who thought it was the coolest thing ever that people he knew spoke to spacemen. I hope he goes off and gets a first in physics and maths! We’re working on a longer term plan with Leroy to build on the interest and to recognise his contribution. Y’all will be the first to know if we can pull the right strings. I think your depressing ETA estimate is closer than mine, but as for the book on shipping Berri home – put your house on the negative – you obviously haven’t seen my bank balance. Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano – engagingly translated as “our aim? just a brain that’s not addled with pox, and a clean bill of health from the docs” (more Dexter) – and we’ll sail. There is a sort of integrity in the original plan which would be completely lost if we fail to try.

And for all the runners out there who swear by ASICS shoes – Anima Sana In Corpore Sano is a different version – a sound mind in a healthy body.

Here endeth patronising for the day.

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