FROM 1-10. South Atlantic-Going up

Mar 26, 2005 – 1040hrs UTC

1040hrs 26 Mar 2005 UTC Map Ref 126

The romantic view of dawn at sea seems to focus on pretty colours and reflections and thoughts of new beginnings with lots of allegory. Well it ain’t necessarily so – often bleak, cold, very damp with water running off the sails and down the neck. Today, though, has been a confirmation for the poets – huge, sharp full moon all night with an attendant star, wispy clouds very high and lots of dolphins all around us and so quiet that we could hear them breathe as they breached – a double sound like a reverse sneeze – shoo-atish – and seabirds too, visible in the moonlight. The only thing missing was phosphorescence. Dawn with cherry pink clouds on the eastern horizon and reflecting off the water, turning orange then silver as the sun met the horizon. And to the west, the moon sinking into  a deepening soft purple haze. A pair of small albatrosses swooping around us and two black crow like birds apparently trying to land amongst the hardware at the masthead. Beats watching tv. Isolated patches of kelp still around us – we are about 40 miles inside the 1000 mtr depth contour at the edge of the shelf, and our transponder has long since lost the plot. It can cope with 450 feet.

I tried to film the albatrosses for Leroy – extraordinarily difficult to keep them in frame as they disappear into troughs and i have to guess where they will emerge as the boat moves around too, but I think I snatched a reasonable sequence as long as the autofocus held out. They are smaller ones – about 2 metre span with very little anhedral curve as they glide. I’ll hang out for one of the big guys.

We’ve made good progress – 127 miles in 9.5 hours. We have been gradually headed and we will probably be a bit further east tonight than we anticipated.

Brittany, an early estimate would be 48 50S, 054 00W at 0400 tomorrow. Reasonable chance that there will be little or no cloud tonight, but Monday not looking good. We are likely to be sitting under the edge of a tight little low centred to the east of us. I will update in about 12 hours.

Malcolm. thanks for the estimates.

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