FROM 1-20. Belmore and Pete swims

Sep 13, 2005 - 0330hrs UTC │Cattle Egret I

0330hrs 13 Sep 2005 UTC 09’22”N 023’18”W Ref 356

We’ve just dropped the assy and reverted to tractor after nearly 2 days of great reaching – I hope the grib is correct and we’ll get a south easterly later today, which, if it holds, might become the top of the SE trades. Woohoo. Meanwhile, the old bus shelter gets sniffed and watered by all the local mongrels and we carry on fantasising about ocean voyages in our tiny concrete world.

From Sarah Crozier

hi pet-eo, happy birthday and happy fathers day and all that jazz.  all is good on the home front, not much to report.  Do have some good news – Mel had a baby girl called Hannah, at about 10.15pm on friday, same birthday as you, 60 years apart. pretty cool, eh? I went to see them last night, very very cute.  any way, hope all is well, take care, see you in 3 months. Have you caught any fish yet?

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, “”How old was your husband “”98,”” she replied.””Two years older than me.”” “”So you’re 96,”” the undertaker commented. She responded, “”Hardly worth going home is it?””

A 97 year old man goes into his doctor’s office and says, “”Doc, I want my sex drive lowered.”” “”Sir””, replied the doctor, “”You’re 97. Don’t you think your sex drive is all in your head?”” “”You’re darned right it is!”” replied the old man. “”That’s why I want it lowered!””

An elderly woman from Brooklyn decided to prepare her will and make her final requests. She told her Rabbi she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Bloomingdales. “”Bloomingdales?”” the Rabbi exclaimed. “”Why Bloomingdales?”” “”Then I’ll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week.””

Three old guys are out walking. First one says, “”Windy, isn’t it?”” Second one says, “”No, it’s Thursday!”” Third one says, “”So am I. Let’s go get a beer.””

A man was telling his neighbour, “”I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but its state of the art. It’s perfect.”” “”Really,”” answered the neighbour. “”What kind is it?”” “”Twelve thirty.””

From Jennifer

Optic nerves:     

Pete, just read your log entry about your eyes and face. Particularly interesting for me because I’m just finishing first year psych and spen the entire year doing experiments with vision and depth perception. That’s the first log I’ve read in a while, although Brian keeps me up to date with what’s happpening.

Clear skies and fair winds to you

A bit of a catch up – thanks for the jokes, John H and Sarah; Jen, how does that stuff fit into first year psych? I’ve taken part in lots of those experiments, mostly years ago and mostly for medical students. I hope you two are planning to come across for the Coming Home party.

From John C.

The phone call mentioned in Sitrep: 0900hrs 09 Sep 2005 UTC Ref 342 was me. Very clear from my end but must have been difficult for Pete. I was sitting on the Bateman’s Bay yacht club mariner on my way south. Unfortunately driving – not sailing. Fascinating to think a mobile phone can talk to a bus shelter in the mid Atlantic. Keep up the pretence for us land lubbers to dream about. Cheers and good sailing to you both

John C, Hilary told us it must have been you – Pete just missed your name in the static.

From Diana H.

Subject: solar storm

.. apprntly major inc in solar flare activty in recent days may affect computer equipment?  effectively an electromagnetic pulse that goes on and on? dunno what it does to radios?

take care

And, talking of static, thanks Diana, solar flares really mess up radio propagation but I don’t think they harm the radio itself. Every time I log into sailmail, the saildocs computer in Washington updates my propagation calculator with sunspot activity and solar flux info – clever and the calculator is astonishingly accurate. Will write separately about a PB idea that’s been simmering.

From Kate G.

Alex & Peter – What an excursion.  Have had to print out a few days of The Log (subject to Copyright 2005) to accompany me through the wilds of Warnie’s bowling tonight. Fine sailing to you. Cheers K. 

Hi Kate – we heard about The Ashes – probably a Good Thing for cricket, tho it hurts. Hope the log was sufficiently interesting to overcome the loss.

From Martin Z., Vienna, Austria

“greetings from vancouver, canada and vienna, austria etc” “During my stay at at a medical congress in Vancouver last week I had the opportunity to have an evening party where Michael Giblin, an ophthalmologist from Australia, was present.

We talked about this and that and also about sailing. I told him that  I recently had bought  a small sailing boat which I now use for sailing in an Austrian lake close to Vienna.

I told him that this ship type, SHARK 24, was already used to cross the Atlantic.

So it was not so far that Mr. Giblin told me about your journey and gave me your homepage address.

I take the opportunity to send the best greetings of Mr. Giblin and me and we are looking forward to a good end of your journey.

Michael Z from Vancouver and Vienna – thanks for your good wishes and glad you found us – welcome to the bus shelter – a shark in a Vienna lake must frighten the locals a bit perhaps – happy sailing. It must be almost the end of your season – does the lake freeze? Michael G – a Junketeer? Hope you enjoyed it – Vancouver is spectacular. Send us a note when you get back and I’ll write to you.

From Malcom Robinson

Hi guys – and very happy belateds to Pete! – keep the beard on Pete, otherwise nobody will believe that you’re 60 :-)  

We celebrated Pete’s birthday by taking Wildfire in her first (semi)proper race down to North Bruny. We’re not sure who came second – by the time they got near the line (45 minutes later) we were too far away to see :-)) Total fluke of course – all the others stayed on the eastern shore while we went west and snuck along in our own little zephyr.

I’ve just started watching the South Atlantic high and at the moment it looks really weird
- sausage of high pressure NW to SE
- current centre (1028) is at 45S 010E (SW of Cape Town) with ridge (1024) extending NW to 20S 025W
-  Low of 1004 at 35S 005W (W of Cape Town) has a fairly localised influence
- looks like SE winds west of 015W and S winds east of there
- yuk

I been thinking seriously about the S/H and as honoured as I am to have been invited and as much fun as it would have been, have decided to give it a miss this year. There are several reasons but the biggy is that I reckon that I’ve had my turns and I’d love to see Catherine and/or Stephen have a go this time. I’m also really looking forward to coming out and meeting you and getting photos of you as you round Tasman Island.

And irrespective of that, I’ll also come and say g’day as you go past Tassie on your way home, no matter which end of the island you decide to go past! Sail safely guys!

Mal, you’ll have to sandbag a bit – remember Dennis Conner? – so they don’t mess with your handicap. Sounds good – next stop LHI lagoon? We’ll miss you on the S2H. Thanks re SA high – we also have our own Oracle who has clocked in again, so with the 2 of you on side, we should crack it. If there happens to be a good ISS pass any time, it’s pretty cloudless here at the mo – but don’t bother with regular updates – i don’t think they will talk to us again, but it’s nice to know they are up there. I think we may be closer to Africa than them at the mo.

And Malcom did the numbers – seems we’ve crossed over a million primary wave crests since Sydney and we’ve only got 785455 to go 785454 785453…zzzz We could put numbers on the 2 Most Significant Waves, I suppose.

From Roger W.

Simon & I will get your application for entry in; once that’s accepted it will be the entry itself, which we will also handle. The application requires 50% of crew for crew experience so I have included John Van O, no probs if you have to change later. I will keep my eye on entry dates etc.

Roger and Simon, many thanks – I’ll write separately.

Squeeze the bag time – must keep up the fluids. Is S.W. Bag still out there Steve?

G’day to the kids at Belmore South Primary
[from Alex] To 5/6 P and 5/6 S Hi from Pete and Alex in Berrimilla. This is Alex writing – Pete will have a go later, when he wakes up (we have to take it in turns to sleep) Its really good to know you’re out there. We are about 400 nautical miles off the coast of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa and it’s the middle of the night as I write. It’s hot and even this far out, I can smell the land – don’t know what the smell is but it’s there. Car fumes, dog poo, rotting leaves, the scent of flowers just like Sydney, I expect. The sea water is about as warm as an indoor pool in Sydney and it’s really sweaty even now at night. The Atlantic here is about 6 kilometres deep and it’s a funny feeling to be on top of that much water. There were dolphins all around us earlier – we could here them surfacing and snorting as they breathe and they make lovely phosphorescent trails in the water. Our actual position at this moment is 09 degrees 18 minutes North, 023 degrees 17 minutes West, which puts us 557 nautical miles north of the equator.

We’re in the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone or ITCZ which is just a fancy name for what old sailors used to call The Doldrums and where they hated going because there is never much wind and it’s always hot and unpleasant and they could be stuck here for weeks. We’re lucky because we have an engine so we can still move even when there’s no wind. The ITCZ is where the very hot air that moves around the earth on either side of the equator mixes with the cooler air coming down from the north. Because the air masses are moving in slightly different directions there are big swirls where the two masses mix – just like when cigarette smoke rises in the air – and these swirls, called tropical waves, sometimes go on to become tropical hurricanes like Katrina.

Steve or Mal, any chance you could put up a link to relevant bit of the wind chart on one of the weather sites?
[like this?]

That’s probably enough guff from me – we’d really like to hear from you if you would like to write to us with your news or questions. There’s not much happening out here and and it would give us something interesting to do.

Best wishes to you all from

[from Pete]
Hi kids Pete here, it was good to learn that you are interested in what we are doing on the other side of the world.
I’ve been on watch for about one and a half hours now, I didn’t get much sleep in my 3 hours off, probably because I went to bed all hot and sweaty. Just before Alex took over we had to pull down the big spinnaker sail which had been slowly hauling us across the water in very little wind. Putting everything away after we drop this sail takes some time and running around the rolling deck in the dark to do this work makes you very hot. I should have stayed on deck and cooled off before going below as it’s very hot in the cabin with the engine running, too late to worry about that now I’ll try to catch up on my sleep later.
About half an hour ago the sun came up at about 7.30 am. UTC. This means that the sun was going down in Sydney at about this time, perhaps you could work out for me what time sunrise and sunset are in Sydney using UTC time (UTC used to be known as Greenwich Mean Time). I couldn’t see the sun till it was about 5 degrees above the horizon due to the heavy haze over the water. Time gets a little complicated when you’re at sea. We have to keep our watches on UTC because all our information (weather etc.) is transmitted at certain times during the day in UTC time. At the moment local time and UTC are about one and a half to two hours apart which is ok but once we get past the bottom of Africa and start sailing due east the two time frames start to separate quickly and you end up having your breakfast with your watch saying it’s midnight.
Sorry if I’ve been waffling on about this time problem but I think it’s important. With international communications so easy these days via the internet business is going on 24 hours a day and that’s the way of the future.

I just went out to see if there were any ships about and there was this pure white ( except for its black tail feathers ) bird,circling around the boat. Sometimes they hitch a ride on the boat for a few hours and have a rest. We have not seen that many birds recently, it will be good to get further south where once again we will meet up with the big beautiful albatross. Did you know that they sleep while flying, how efficient is that bird.
Cheers for now, hope to hear from you soon…….Pete.

ps. I’ve just been up on deck again and that bird did stop for a rest, it was up on the bow of the boat. Had a good look at it this time, it has long thin legs like a shallow water feeder. It also has a long orange coloured beak and the top of its head is an orange colour.

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