FROM 1-31. Sooo close to Hobart

Dec 09, 2005 - 1215hrs UTC

1215hrs 09 Dec 2005 UTC 43’57”S 139’12”E Ref 634

u/d – will expand during the night – will need to recharge before can send.

Once again, twin poled, gusty squally 25-30 up the proverbial and going like the clappers. GPS ETE now consistently under 70 hours to SE Cape, sometimes below 45. One of the poles creaking a bit – perhaps the parrot beak fitting rivets have died. OK as long as we keep it under compression!

Exquisite moon out there wreathed in wispy cloud and big dark silhouettes all around. Pink remains of sunset fading under cloudbase astern. Battery very low – deliberately running right down to 10.8 v to conserve diesel – not enough sunshine to fire up the solar much during the day. We are using our reserve water, also to conserve diesel.

Later: there seems to be a series of tight little fronts embedded in this westerly flow – we’ve just flopped out of the back of one – 35+ knot gusts, very short (2 boatlength) steep (4-5 metres?) seas under, which fade gradually as front recedes. Venus bright like a beacon in a gap in the cloud for a time, now hidden. Moonlight making ghostly coils out of breaking crests all around us and glowing in the sternwave as we surf off each wave – seldom straight down the face but semi-sideways until the headsails and Kevvo exert their leverage. Gets us ever closer to the Cape and the Iron Pot. It seems there might be a reception committee and I understand that Storm Bay is full of interesting flotsam – we will keep our eyes open.

To all of you who have written and signed the gust book from the USA – thanks for your good wishes, encouragement and personal messages – wonderful to get them and we are delighted that the website has given you pleasure. I’m sorry that I just don’t have the capacity to reply to everyone personally. Nice to know you are all out there – the next three weeks will be the pointy end of the whole gig – hang on for the ride!

El, will call you when in range – email too hard for the mo. Come up for arrival if you can – ETA Sydney dec 20, but depends on the Examiner. Hobart for NY eve too? ETA ditto!

Gordo – thanks re food – not this time thanks – we’re just doing 6 meals and using up the leftovers. Back on the contract for LHI if you want.

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