FROM 1-18. Betwixt Madeira and Morocco

Aug 23, 2005 – 1700hrs UTC

1700hrs 23 Aug 2005 UTC 44’14”N 010’04”W Ref 307

[Ed: there has been a fair bit of bouncing emails back and forth as we have had some major problems with the laptops, versions of programs, USB ports, and sundry other pieces of technology.  All under control now with earlier versions and fingers firmly crossed]

Back in plod mode – about 85 miles NW of Cape Finisterre, long Atlantic swell rolling in from the right, almost on the beam, poled out to port in about 10 knots making about 4. Lots of seabirds all around – we just sailed through a big gaggle of them sitting on the water – they took off haphazardly each firing off a long white squitty squirt – no doubt to lighten the take-off load or readjust the trim.

More on great circles – it follows that the equator is the only line of latitude that is a great circle, but every line of longitude is. The symmetry of the calculation is messed up because the earth is not a perfect sphere (one of the few things I remember with any clarity from school geography is that it is an oblate spheroid, fatter around the equator because of its rotation) so some parts of any great circle arc are flatter than others. There are actually tables to calculate the difference in distance.

I have found a map of the French meteorological areas in Reeds Almanac. We have just passed from Pazenn into Finisterre, with Charcot to seaward and Josephine to the south west, Porto to the south followed by San Vicente. We will probably cut across the corner of Charcot, across Josephine and down to the NW corner of Madeira. Doesn’t quite have the romantic appeal of Faeroes, Viking, Cromarty, Dogger and the rest of the UK areas that we all learned almost by heart from the BBC as kids.

I’m on watch, so ducking up every few minutes to check for ships. Pete is cooking up a stew and we’re going to celebrate Jeanne’s birthday in Local Time very soon.

Farewell Raffie – a young friend who died in a car crash in St Vincent a few days ago. We’re thinking of you, Mitchie and Foster and his family.

Comments are closed.