FROM 1-6. Below 50S

Feb 21, 2005 - 0225hrs UTC │Generator has died

0225hrs 21 Feb 2005 UTC 45’57”S 121’35”W Map Ref 73 4162nm

The proposed [ed: broken generator] work-around – we will run the engine for half hr each day at about this time 0200-0300utc (good propgn)while diesel lasts & do update & mailcall then to v short satcom updates if diesel short. For George, unit works thro Ampair control box, not boat’s regulator – v unlikely control box is wet. First connected unit direct to box cutting out connector plug – no change – then took backplate off – some moisture and condensation – and also bare connection where shrinkwrap had failed. Re insulated dried out and resealed still no change. Casing not obviously live like before but may have felt small tingle. V tired by this stage so not altogether functional. About to have restorative G&T.

lost a bit here too hard to recreate – sorry …sneak between the exceptionally nasty windy bits, but I think we will cop some serious swell on the way so a lot may depend on the actual wind direction relative to the swell. This is a tiny boat compared to some of these rolling skyscrapers and we have to sail a fine line to make progress. And there is a possible ice report too, at 51.3s 118.6w which is south of our likely track. For the meteorologically challenged – a set that includes myself – I’ll have a go at explaining how I see the situation. Firstly, low pressure systems rotate clockwise in the s. hemisphere and suck air in. Imagine a 300 mile wide whirlpool of air going round clockwise, faster and faster closer to the vortex, then move the whole whirlpool from west to east at up to 30 knots and thats your low. In microcosm, it’s what happens at the plughole in your bath or sink but with air instead of water. Looking down on it, you can divide it into 4 segments or quadrants – top right or North East, bottom right, SE etc. In the NE quadrant, air is moving clockwise from the north west and inwards towards the centre. The wind speed in this quadrant is therefore the sum of the local wind speed (the whirly bit)plus the forward movement of the whole system, so this is the windiest sector. It is known as the dangerous quadrant of a tropical cyclone. In the SE quadrant, this effect is much less and the two are subtracted in the NW quadrant. Generally, the closer to the centre, the stronger the wind. High pressure systems work in reverse, but don’t really concern us for the time being.

We are sitting in the bottom of the high that’s been hanging around for three weeks in very light southerly winds. We have a deepish looking low forming to the north east of us, putting us potentially in its SW quadrant with strong south easterly winds – exactly what we don’t need as we head SE towards the Horn, therefore we need to get well south of the influence of this one before we get that far east and it catches us. We also have a low directly west of us, about two days away, putting us in either the NE or SE quadrants and NW or NE wind – not too bad – even helpful as long as we are far enough away from the heavy stuff in the centre, because we need to go SE and that allows us to do so relatively easily. So we’re riding down the front of that one and, at about 120 miles per day, we should get into the SE quadrant or even below it before we really feel it. The next one behind it is perhaps a week away, by which time we should be nearly 1000 miles closer to the Horn and in a different set of systems. So, fingers firmly crossed and the bullet is bit. Comfort and progress will depend on residual sea state as we move south south east. Not sure what to look forward to after 50 S.

Seabirds all around us again. more or less all the time. I hope these guys speak Spanish. One huge albatross – wingspan wider than the boat, serene, effortless majesty, distantly curious, the downdraft from its wings occasionally visible on the water.

From Catherine H.
Hi Guys,
What do you need for boat bits? We may be able to organize it from Buenos Aires, as have lots of contacts there after our refit.
Also will send coordinates of Caleta Martial near Cape Horn, however you are only allowed to stop there if you are clearing into Puerto Williams (Chile). The lighthouse keeper does watch, and I’ve noticed from my last circumnavigation that bureaucracy and zeal at defending it is inversely proportional to the country’s GNP!
Regards from Cath, skipper Spirit of Sydney

Cath, thanks for offer re spares – we may take you up – our aux generator has failed and we need a complete new unit. Steve Jackson will contact you today with further details. I don’t think we will stop at Caleta Martial – we are going to be later at the Horn than intended assuming we get through the next couple of weeks diving south ok and will push on to Stanley. Will come in on 8164 sked when we get a bit closer. Who do I call?

From Kristen M.
Greetings from Mosier, Oregon.

What news would *you* like to receive at mail call? You asked what we
land-lubbers wanted to know. Since you haven’t said, here is a
collection of some of what I’ve been contemplating lately.

This morning we had a couple of centimeters of snow on the ground.
Later the sun came out and it was beautiful and the snow melted very
quickly. El nino is causing all of the usual Oregon/Washington precip
to head for California, so it has been an odd winter here, and a very
wet one down there. Meanwhile I’m trying to get back into “”real life””
with mixed success. The dog and cat have been good company though. I
can see how on a bigger boat a ship cat could be quite popular, in
addition to filling a useful function of killing rodents.

You mention in your logs of late how remote and isolated you are.
True. Nevertheless, I am cognizant that in spite of your remoteness
you are very connected to all of us around the world who follow your
journey around the world. I believe that this ability to remain
connected is one of the good things that technology has done for
people. The ability to remain connected to Berri and her crew as you
connect the dots is a gift. Of course this omnipresent connectivity
is also dreadfully misused. I am disgusted by how my coworkers are
required to check their email even while on vacation. Apparently
Americans work more hours than people any other industrialized nation.

I however am doing my best to drag down this average. Lately I’ve
been quite successful. The truth is that I came home from Mexico
because I wanted to come home, not because work was calling
frantically. At the moment, I have the luxury of lots of unscheduled
time. I’ve been filling it with chores such as shopping for my first
stereo (but it will be a couple steps above a starter stereo) and
reading and watching movies. And converting cryptic crossword formats
(if you start wanting more I’ll invest the time in hacking the
JavaScript but since I’ve never written a line of JavaScript–just
Java–that will take some time…but it could be fun…)

Have you thought about what you’ll do after you finish sailing around
the world? As I’m sure you’ve figured out, life is a process oriented
sport. Immense as your current goal is, you will most likely attain
it and then get to move on to something else. Myself, I’m trying to
kick myself in the ass to attempt something hard. Being a bum isn’t
enough for me. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that I’m a spoilt brat. Much
of the world is struggling to eat. Those of us who live in the
industrialized world are struggling to pay mortgages and raise
children. I’m dreaming up conspiracy theories (shrub wants to
privatize US social security–is the secret goal to get more Americans
caring about the stock market?) and procrastinating by playing
computer solitaire.

What I’m asking myself is what is it that enables one to get past the
fear of failure to try something really hard? Your prep sheets make
sailing Berri around the world look like an exercise in project
management, but I know there’s way more too it than that.

Kris – got your list of questions thanks – working on it. Yes to stubborn, if I remember correctly the order of meaning.

From Kim K.
It’s a good read Alex. Enjoyable. Glad to hear the seas are a little calmer for a moment anyway.

A few years ago I did an artificial insemination course (bovine) with a young woman form the Falklands (don’t ask, what else is there to bring a young girl to Armidale!)

Although a native I was surprised that she had a Londonish accent. Apparently (if I recall correctly) only one “”supermarket”” there. Local population about 2000 plus about 3000 troops. (I may be very wrong). (no flies also) I applied for a job there (which I failed to get) some years ago.

Take care with the Mung beans, it wound be ironic if you lost your teeth but warded off scurvy!

The side fence “”progresses””. It may be an idea if I measured twice and cut once. Bought a new handsaw today…magic. It came with a CD of Aussie workmen’s songs! What an incentive.

I expect you are drinking Dr Cooper’s warm? (like a Pom??) No refrigeration (to spare). Is this Pete’s magic home brew? (spell check suggested “”manic””!)

Must be at my quota, Take care.

Kim, the Dr Coopers is at room temperature – doubt if you’d find that warm beside your fence.

From Allan Fenwick
exciting sailing happenings here, from lake mac. to Smiths creek
off coal and candle. Gordo, myself, and picked up Sarah from Brooklen for an
s@s meeting. 6 34s rafted up, good company, Gordo found a chef off one of
the other yachts and together they cooked up a storm, together with red wine
the evening stretched into dawn, all are now keen to sail to lake mc. for
Easter, with a few more Sparkman @ Stevens 34s. Trying to get the numbers up
to 12 this time. Knowing Easter it will rain for 4 days. It seems you two
are having fun, eating and sleeping, I hope you are riding your bike, you
haven’t said anything about it. Keep fit and dry and stay safe.

Fenwick = glad there are still five people who will talk to you. I understand you’d drunk all your grog before you arrived and just bludged, so maybe even they wont talk to you again.

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