FROM 1-8. Horn to Falkland Islands

Mar 8, 2005 - 1245hrs UTC

1245hrs 08 Mar 2005 UTC 54’58”S 078’43”W Map Ref 106

The GPS has a facility (ETE) that calculates estimated time en route to a waypoint, but ours only calculates up to 100 hours. It recalculates every few seconds so the estimate changes drastically sometimes over those seconds, depending on which part of a wave the boat is on and similar factors. Consequently,it’s not a good thing to watch or even become conscious of. For the last month or so, we’ve had Cape Horn as the next waypoint and we’ve watched the distance come down from about three and a half thousand miles to, right now, 412 miles. There has been a blank space in the ETE field for all that time.

No longer.

ETE now hovers around 60 – 90 hours so ETA Horn probably sometime on Friday, UTC. Wishful thinking but a definite milestone. For all of you out there, the next three or four days are – I suppose – the tedious fabric of a normal working week. Kim, no doubt, will stare at the side fence, beer in hand, volatilising a lot and wishing it was Saturday so he could have a beer and stop staring at the fence and life will go on as normal. For us, though, it will be a nailbiter as we watch the grib, the actual weather, the horizon, Berrimilla’s little needs and comforts and the beer supply as the ETE counts down, desperately slowly and we look out for the first snowy mountain top. The forecast is promising – but no chickens anywhere in sight yet. We have just crossed 54 51 S so we are now further south that we have ever been. Also past 80 W and in a couple of hours should be under 400 to go. 3 reasons for mild celebration. Just shared the last three snakes, but we found a bag with TimTams, Shapes AND McVities – only one packet of each but wooohooo!

The scale of things down here is surprising. I have never really though about how big Tierra del Fuego might be, or the Straits of Magellan, but the two together, with all the amazingly rugged islands around the edges seem to be about half as big as the state of Victoria. They now take up a big chunk of the laptop screen in SOB mode. We’ll be looking for Slarty’s signature when we get closer. Love to have time to cruise it all – the Beagle Channel is supposed to have the best glaciers in the world.

Kris – Cognac sounds nice. I know its old sailors stuff, but don’t ever again think of that housebrick hanging from your collar as an albatross – one of the most breathtakingly lovely sights in the world is a big albatross flowing towards you at about 30 knots wingtips millimetres above the water, huge curved wings quivering as it surfs its own bow wave, serene, majestic, arrogantly in charge of its element. Instead, go find one – real or metaphorical – discard the brick and the point will be pretty clear.

Fromm Ann G.: Olfactory factory
Dear Pete and Alex, to answer ur ? Olf. performance is influenced by
age, smell receptor staus (rodents and other small beasties have over
1000 odor recptors, humans 350) psychological state (familiar smells
give comfort in high stress environment), perception and ambient
temperature. We smell vaporized or gaseous compounds. So if body
effluent is not vaporized in some fashiom, you probably won’t mind. If
it is cold, and you are not waving your arms or shaking the nether
regions around, no chance to vaporize resident smells. Note to self:
when arrived at CH, skip initial bubbly party – you will be the only
ones there! CH noses will be operating properly. So, smell combines
hardware (receptors) and software (behavior, perception) plus sensors
(for temperature). Trust me, you’re so bloody stinky by now, you
should say a little prayer to himself that you are not in 40C weather.
Think about other environs where temp is high and close quarters –
?submariners, space shuttle. This is a small price to pay for any
explorer. Wishing you a safe landing in CH.

Ann, it’s a well known fact that The Right Stuff doesn’t volatilise, so space shuttles must be atmospherically pristine. All the submariners I’ve known are very much The Wrong Stuff and they fart as well. You and Kim should swap sporulating Actinomyce stories by the fence over that beer.

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