FROM 1-13. Across the Equator

May 07, 2005 - 2115hrs UTC

2115hrs 07 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 206

Somewhere in Australian literature there’s a book or story called “Call me when the Cross turns over”. This would be obscure today to most Australians, I expect, because to appreciate just how the Cross does turn over, you need a horizon and a clear view of most of the sky. It’s very obvious from here – the Cross is low on our southern horizon and it climbs up out of the south east trailing its pointers, loops through the horizontal at about 15 degrees over the south pole and dives down into the south western horizon wrong side up, so to speak. It turns over round about midnight here at this time of year. Where I live in Sydney, you can only see it for a short period each night because of surrounding buildings and trees and there’s no sense of movement at all.

Another one for the astronomers and physicists, who didn’t answer my last, about the dark patch next to the Cross. If the Milky Way is our view of part of our own galaxy, are the first and second magnitude stars (and therefore the constellations) we use to navigate also part of our galaxy? They certainly seem to be from here. And is our galaxy 100 million light years across or have I got the wrong end of the scale somewhere? And if the dark patch near the Cross is a hole in the Milky Way, how come? It seems almost without visible ‘content’. What sort of force would cause that to happen? Um – if Stephen Hawking has already written all there is to say about all that, sorry I asked, but from here, they seem to be obvious questions.

Clouds – as weather forecasters – useful on their own but much more so if you understand how weather systems develop and what they bring with them. Cold and warm fronts, highs and lows, monsoons, tropical revolving storms – all have their particular characteristics and their signature cloud patterns and sequences. And each system has its own local effects, so around Sydney you get southerly busters, seemingly out of nowhere but predictable if you have been following the trends in cloud patterns and wind direction and you know the local conditions. There are several PhD’s to be written around all of this and there’s no way I could pretend to know it all or get it all into one of these updates. I faffed on about lows and TRS’s on the other side of the Horn, so that’s in the logs somewhere. What we are waiting for here is the series of fronts that signal the end of the trades and the beginning of the next convergence zone and which we hope will lift us around to the north east and Falmouth from somewhere close to the Azores. I think they will be cold fronts – I’m not sure, but working from first principles, as long as I have those right, indicates they will be. Hot air rises above the equator, (so low pressure) moves north or south, is cooled in the upper atmosphere and sinks again in the mid latitudes (high pressure). So what we will have is essentially a wedge of colder air from the clockwise rotating high to the north forcing itself under the warmer moister air we are in here and pushing the warm moist air upwards. What we will see will be the fluffy little cumulus clouds we’re under now becoming a line of developing cumulo-nimbus clouds along the front, as the warm moist air rises, cools and the water condenses out of it. The earth’s rotation causes vortices between the two converging air masses along the convergence zone which make the big clouds spin and there’s the beginning of the beast. All of which could be complete nonsense – but I’m sure to be corrected if it is and we will post the correction.

Things that have worked really well # 47: Mung beans, apart from an early disaster in the very much colder southern ocean where some of them didn’t germinate and made a mess of my smile. I soak a handful every day and the little darlings germinate, root, swell and give us crunchy fresh protein for our evening meal. Cress works just as well but really needs bread and margarine etc. to be fully appreciated, so I’m not growing it here.

And we are now into the Linear Method of Consultation (LMC) as opposed to the Parallel Method (PMC). Where once we were able to Consult regularly and often, we now must absteem so we entertain the Doctor in the morning, again in the afternoon, both times sharing a can of Consulting Oil and then again in the evening, but this time as an Either/Or event. Either we talk to the good Dr. Gordon and apply his Tonic to the system, or we commune with the excellent Chilean Anaesthetist, Dr. Plonk. Once, we might have held Joint Consultations, but no longer. Pain is said to be character building.

I think we can now see the Pole Star, Polaris. WOOHOO!

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