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

Apr 28, 2005 – 1200hrs UTC

1200hrs 28 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 188

It’s beginning to look just a teensy bit promising – we may just be on our bikes and on the way but with this particular Examiner, ain’t nothing certain – I can sense her presence everywhere. And, I suppose by some sort of freudian association, are you out there Ma’am, reading this nonsense and, if so, please give us a blast – be good to hear how you are getting on. Otherwise, Gerry, report please – I’ll write to you separately anyway – grib is interesting and basically very accurate as long as you understand what you are looking at. Took us some time.

Writing this in the early morning, local time – sun about 15 degrees, really hot already – I’m running with sweat at the nav table and the laptop is hot to the touch. Not helped by having the Cone of Silence partly lowered to be safe. Pete trying to sleep – we have both hatches cracked open but not enough to get any real draught through the boat. There’s a bit too much spray over the deck. Means we’re moving – at about 6 kts. Woohoo.

We are now north of Australia. Sort of a lonely feeling – really out on our own. We’ve gone most of the way up the eastern coast of S. America out of sight of land, about 10 ships, all but one in the night (because of their navigation lights – they are much harder to spot during the day if more than a couple of miles away) and no other sign of teeming humanity just over the horizon. We’ve heard stories about the coast from the NE corner westwards and we intend to stay well outside the Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, just in case. As we track now, we’ll do it in one, but it may need another tack east later.

And we’re far enough out from the coast once again for the ISS 11 crew, John Phillips and Serguei Krikalev, to be our nearest neighbours for a few moments each day. We’re hoping to hear from them, but obviously we ought not expect anything.

Sal – best wishes to you and the Keyclowns and to Tom and Luca. How goes +16? T & L, this is worth doing one day if it grabs you, but remember that it’s mostly planning and preparation, a lot of tedium and just a few scary bits. Hombre apercebido medio combatido – Don Quixote – Dexter again.

Doug M – thanks for the historical detail -I knew about the Lightning  but not the string of associations. Perhaps you could find out a bit more about Francis Crozier for Pete. Apparently a fairly common name in Ireland – interesting to know whether there’s a connection there too.

David – aiming for the equator on your birthday – but you know how it is – could be a week late…no way we’ll be early.

And for the punters, Malcolm will put all the ETA’s on the website, unidentified. There is a very faint possibility that we may do a 24 hour pit stop (diesel and grog!) in the Azores. Not if I can help it and not if the wind and the Examiner are kind to us. I might consider adjusting he earlier guesses – or maybe not – the Examiner is frowning.

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