FROM 1-8. Horn to Falkland Islands

Mar 11, 2005 – 0715hrs UTC

0715hrs 11 Mar 2005 UTC 56’08”S 069’45”W Map Ref 114

86 miles to go and – touch wood – the stage seems to be set. Cold, slightly hazy night, gerzillions of stars up there but just a bit fuzzy, series of little rain squalls chasing us as always but without the ferocity of a couple of days ago. Poled out #4 and full main, heading straight for Cabo de Hornos. Islas Diego Ramirez about 50 miles on the starboard bow. Wind west at 15 – 20 kts.

Just been overtaken by what looked like very large ship to the North. Bearings changed rapidly from 330 through north to 030 so safe – tried calling on Ch 16 and heard something some minutes later but indistinct. White flares and big torches and hand held VHF in the cockpit and I stick my head up every 10 minutes to have a look around. First sign of other humans since Sarau passed us before the Antipodes Islands about a month ago.

Heard again from NASA – the crew of the Intl. Space Station would like to talk to us. Something of an honour although would have been more interesting mid-ocean when they were the closest humans to us. We will probably be in the Falklands by their suggested dates – Steve is co-ordinating. Berrimilla’s 15 minutes of fame!

Must stick head up…ship has disappeared ahead, horizon clear. Have to spend a few minutes up there each time, to let eyes adjust and to make sure that we have been on top of enough of these big swells to see anything that may be distant and hidden behind one of them.

Here’s hoping the wind holds

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