FROM 1-13. Across the Equator &1st circumnavigation

May 02, 2005 – 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 02 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 196

0430 on May 2 – Happy Birthday, David. Another Turner moon for you – silver crescent rising behind silhouetted black clouds low on the horizon with glittering path on the water. Unlike Turner, though, almost no wind. His pictures always seem to be windy.

No ships, no aircraft – looking at the angles, we would be north of the main air corridoor but still potentially within the shipping lane. Saw two big meteorite trails last night coming in from the south so probably not rocket junk and travelling very fast – about half the sky in about a second. One was extremely bright and seemed to go all the way down through the atmosphere. On a cloudless night with a 360 degree horizon, you get a much clearer sense of where they originate and how far they go. Certainly spectacular.

20 miles from straight line half way Stanley to Falmouth and 170 from the equator. We should pass half way in about 6 hours – the equator – who knows?

Later – 0900 – at 0229.43 South – we’re past half way and the satphone just bleeped so I’ll send this and all y’all can start the celebrations. 149 miles to the equator, so tomorrow some time it we get lucky.

[ed: I love it when a plan comes together – their calculation of how far they’ve got to go corresponds exactly with our calculations in the Sitrep list – and, no, I didn’t fudge it! Their average speed is back up to 5 knots so we’re looking at them crossing the equator at about 1500UTC Tuesday (1am Wednesday Australian Eastern Standard Time)]

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