FROM 1-2. Hobart (Tasmania)-Dunedin (NZ)

Jan 17, 2005 - 1032hrs SYD

Jan 17, 2005 – 1032hrs SYD │47’57”S 167’31”E

We’ve now changed target to waypoint Alpha, 1104 nm to the east. Should take about 8 days in our current fairly conservative mode. Latest report puts us already south of the northernmost sighting of ice, but it’s a long way ahead. Todays wildlife: near the Snares, two tiny penguin-like birds – square back ends apparently with a foot at each rear corner, little narrow wings flapping away but only just airborne. also a bigger bird grey/black on top with two white patches on each wing. Curved leading edges without the obvious elbow of most of our locals. span about 1 mtr.

Now well past S.I without seeing it, although south end of long white cloud clearly visible. Rain has stopped at last – not conducive to merry frolics and we can start drying out again. Another reorganisation for a bit more space and accessibility. Found the charger for my cd player so can occupy long watches again. Maggie, the cd player was what i bought with Kyc DJ’s goodbye present. Please thank them all and tell them how much it is appreciated. Eleanor of Aquitaine’s story in 1000 yeas in a day as background as i write.

A watch change: think warm sleeping bag, deep deep sleep. Voice gradually comes in over the top -Alex! Aleeex! – open eyes to see own red beanie next to eyeballs and ghastly leering face covered in white stubble topped by several concatenated beanies and dayglo yellow hood. Nightmare? Just pete in drag. Slide – no, decontort out of bag and bivvy bag. Diversion for a mo – those who know the boat know about the navigator’s quarterberth, but some of you might not. A PhD in contortional physiology is the minimum criterion for entry, with the first movement a sort of barrel roll of the lower body with the upper part hanging from the grabrail above the nav table. Then various versions of wriggle also hanging on with at least one hand while pulling up or pushing back rug, bag or whatever as one gets organised. The cheeks of the bum become almost prehensile with practice. add vertical movement of around 3 metres plus severe roll and pitch and you get something of an idea. I’ve had 10 years of practice but it’s still difficult. having decontorted, it’s cold and damp and you desperately dont want to get your feet in contact with the wet floor so its some sort of wedge arrangement while find socks then boots. boots usually have wet weather pants still around them so can slip feet in and pull up pants in one sinuous, lithe lissom action. Not. Then there’s the rest of the party gear (perhaps for a later update). A three hour watch usually consists of 20 minutes getting into the gear, a few minutes at the nav table assessing the situation and then a cup of something hot and up to a old wet cockpit. This generally makes up for everything else: the magnificent indifference of the sea is humbling and inspiring. Perhaps in a future update, if not too dull,i’ll waffle on about the cockpit routine as well. Enough for this tx.

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