FROM 1-18. Betwixt Madeira and Morocco

Aug 26, 2005 - 0415hrs UTC

0415hrs 26 Aug 2005 UTC 39’58”N 012’29”W Ref 312

More idle musings: I’ve been thinking about arcs and great circles and the moment, all those months ago (February?) when we passed just south of The Antipodes Islands, on the dateline SE of NZ. Hilary and Malcom sent us emails saying that they were so named because they are directly opposite Greenwich on the earth’s surface. So the shortest distance between the two would lie along either arc of an infinite number of great circles – except that I doubt whether they are exactly opposite so back to one only, and the earth’s oblatitude would favour one arc or the other. And I remember vividly a few weeks ago standing on the Greenwich meridian outside Flamsteed’s house at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, looking down through the earth at those rather bleak little islands and thinking that I’m possibly the only person this century and one of very few ever to have been in both places in the same year. Leroy and the Orbiters, world famous skiffle group, would perhaps qualify if we allow for vertical distance. Even Groucho might have had difficulty boycotting a club of which he was the only qualified member – but then, why bother anyway.

Silly blather. We’re trickling along, I think about to lose our little distance cushion over our schedule – to keep it, we must sail 39 miles in the next 5 hours and that just ain’t going to happen at 3.4 knots. Poo!

And Malcolm perhaps thinking of Wildfire (nice name). Do the S2H, Mal, and get Dave to come and meet us so you can take photos…

0500 – We’re motoring at 5 knots – almost no wind. The equation – we’ve got about 230 litres of diesel left, the tractor burns about a litre an hour and we must maximise the number of miles we get from every litre. No good starting it when we are doing 3 knots just to get the speed up to 5 – that’s only worth 2 miles/litre and so on. The finesses – use the wind to complement the tractor so minimising revs and diesel burn, keep the tractor in gear when we make water, just save the diesel for the doldrums – but that assumes that we’ll need it down there – is this a valid assumption?

From Ann G.

Subject: Solar storms


Aug 24, 2005 – Forecasters at the NOAA Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colo., observed an extreme-G5 on the NOAA space weather scales-geomagnetic storm, that began on August 24 at 2:12 a.m. EDT. Solar flares on August 22 produced minor to moderate radio blackouts (R1 and R2) and a moderate radiation storm (S2). Also, two large Earth-directed coronal mass ejections occurred on August 22, which resulted in today’s extreme geomagnetic storming. The most intense period of geomagnetic storming occurred between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The storm is currently subsiding. However, additional but less intense geomagnetic storming is expected through Thursday.

Ann G, welcome back and thanks for NOAA geomagnetic storm warnings – I had noticed that propagation is not the best and it’s nice to know there’s an external reason.

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