FROM 2-13. Equator-Cape Town

'Hallo Fishy'

Position 1900/2nd 0050 02357

Things you learn out here – tricks of agility and dexterity – in pearshapedness, Berri may rise and fall rather violently as much as 30 feet in seconds, while at the same time rolling, pitching and yawing often in jerks – classic corkscrew motion accompanied by appropriate crashing, sloshing, creaking, howling blasts. Outside, you can see it all happening and you brace instinctively often without even needing to hold on by hand. For instance, it's relatively easy even under those conditions to time it carefully and get from the cockpit to the foredeck perfectly in tune with the boat with quick hand over hand swaps – never, unfortunately, in tune with your tether, but that's another story and something else you learn. Inside, no frame of reference and you learn to feel and listen to the boat and again, instinctively, almost always get it right when moving around. I've got lots of scars to show the exceptions however. One of the things that really works inside is the system of fully weight bearing hand holds and you can find them in the darkest of nights. And dexterity – I can hold almost my full weight against one of those hand-holds with 3 fingers of one hand while the pinky delicately holds a couple of Sao (cream cracker) biscuits against the palm without breaking them on the way to the cockpit. Sometimes though, you wish that evolution had delivered about 46 prehensile toes plus nose and a tail.

And in those conditions you can't eat pasta or anything really even from one of Berri's elegantly appointed dogbowls without getting food down your front. Just been trying to get the results of a recent blow out of a couple of T shirts. Nope! Not nohow.

Last night Mintaka did its thing at almost the right moment too except that there was a cloud in the way. Mintaka, for those that asked, is the leading star in Orion's belt.

Other things that really work – Chefsway Dried Meals from Hobart – Onya and thanks Nathan. We took lots on the first voyage as backup and didn't need them and ate a lot at home. This time we took 30 through the NW Passage again without needing them but Pete and I have decided to alternate them with the usual sludge from cans on this leg as a bit of a treat. All now well past their use-by date but still much better than anything else we have.

I'll try to do a 'what works/doesn't work/what we've learned' bit every few blogs. Sometimes I find myself writing things that I'm sure I've done before – if it becomes a habit, someone tell me please. None of this 'Hallo Fishy' Hallo Fishy' 'Hallo Fishy' old fart stuff if you please.

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