FROM 1-31. Sooo close to Hobart

Dec 03, 2005 – 1715hrs UTC

1715hrs 03 Dec 2005 UTC 45’10”S 121’18”E Ref 615

Just when you think the baro must have bottomed out, it ratchets down another click. Many sailors will know the little wrench that grabs the viscera and twists when that happens. We’re down to 992 – not particularly low in real numbers, but again, most sailors will know that it’s not the actual number that counts but its relationship to numbers observed over time in the recent past. We crossed the Indian Ocean with the numbers always above about 1008 and usually above 1020, so 992 is scary. It puts us well into the guts of the 974 hp ogre that’s roaring up behind us at 30 kts – otherwise known as the Examiner’s Next Question. However, I have plotted its course as far as I am able from the very good text forecasts that we get via SatCom from Weather Perth and I think that we will be able to sneak out from under its south eastern edge. The centre is moving east and will be about 300 miles NW of us by midday tomoz. This puts us on the outer edge of the SE quadrant – almost the best possible place to be, assuming that one has to be any place close to the beast. The really nasty bit will be the NE quadrant, way to the north and – I hope – beyond messing us about. We are high tailing it out of here – wind from the NW, about 30, poled out 3 and 2 reefs, 6-7 kts going east, so about 90 – 100 miles further on by the time The Question is put. I have released the freckle but have kept the puckering muscle tuned and ready to go.

The 1000 to go mark in less than a day, DV & WP. Trivial in the overall set of numbers but about 40 K in the marathon for us. Two of Dr Wendy’s specials await.

To Brian and Jen and the Otago YC – we haven’t forgotten you! B & J, there’s now a queue for Kevvo and in any case, I’m having second thoughts – there is Another Plan forming in the whorls of the sludgepot – I think I will withdraw him from the market for the mo – sorry – but there’s still all the other stuff. If all this keeps muddling along, we should be in Sydney on about Dec 21, if you feel like coming across for a real beer. We’ll be busy but thirsty.

El, not sure whether I will be able to get an email to you in what will be an exceptional hubbub – Happy Birthday and come up if you can but let me know via H or the website. I’ll try to phone from wherever we are.

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