FROM 1-18. Betwixt Madeira and Morocco

Aug 30, 2005 – 0930hrs UTC

0930hrs 30 Aug 2005 UTC 33’38”N 016’59”W Ref 321

DB: 24hr = 107 total 1163/1200 = -37. All except a mile or so on the engine. I’ll do the run rate on that later. We are about 50 miles from Madeira – can’t see Porto Santo, the smaller and lower island to the NE but there’s a bank of cloud where it ought to be. Madeira looks a bit like Maria Island off Tasmania’s SE coast from here – the same double peak and ridge back.

Our first landfall out of Hobart was The Snares, south of NZ, about 8 days out, so this has taken longer.

We’re ghosting along in 11 kts from the NW, making 4.5. Engine off at 0915. Still very fluky wind, but here’s hoping. The grib predicts better the further south we go from here. Fingers crossed. Will transfer fuel from cockpit tank to main tank later and assess stocks. We left with 120 ltrs in 6 jerry cans in the saloon, a 40 ltr plastic tank in the cockpit and about 80 ltrs in the main tank, so 240 in all. 2 jerries gone and main tank probably down to about 40.

Bright sunshine and using the solar panel to keep the battery up, rather than towing the turbine in this breeze and losing a bit of speed. The panel is working really well but the Xantrex monitor has not worked since we disconnected all the electrics – we must have missed a lead somewhere because it isn’t measuring input/output any more. The GPS gives an accurate voltage reading and we can monitor the battery by watching this – the panel and its regulator are holding it at 13.9/14 volts which is fantastic.

Will try my Telstra sim card as we get close to Madeira. Should be in range during Oz daytime.

Have the assy back up, just able to lay the western end of Madeira, Ponta del Prago, at 5.5 knots. Will try to sneak this away in the propagation hole.

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