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

May 10, 2005 – 0410hrs UTC

0410hrs 10 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 209

Its about local noon now, plenty of sun not much boat speed but the charging devices are ahead of the discharging devices so I’m making water with the excess electrons and preparing a curry for this evening’s repast. The curry is significant in that it has some potatoes which are the last of the fresh food from the Falklands. A good effort considering we’re now 46 days out and a lot of that time was in the tropics.

Yesterday afternoon we changed down sails as the wind and sea state progressively increased. We went from #3 and full main to #3 and one reef then #4 and two reefs and finally for the night #5 and three reefs. By this stage sea was large and lumpy and tops for the wind was 30-35 kts. Through the night sailed 50-60 degs. off the breeze, feathering the main as the wind got to 30+. Generally it stayed in the 20-25 range and we were getting about 4+ kts and 340 deg T which was good considering the conditions and our need to be gentle on the rig.

At the end of my watch just after dawn this morning had a largish nip of Glenfiddich (I’m not sure how to spell it but I know I like it, many thanks Tim) to celebrate passing 10 deg North. It was very beneficial to consult with the Scots specialist and it was further decided that we must do the same again to celebrate the passing of each decade North.

Looks like this wind wont go away its dropped to 20-25 earlier and we change up to #4 and two reefs but as the afternoon progresses its now in the 25-30 range again ….ahhh…well. Have just put the third reef in the main.

Its about midnight now and it seems tonight will be the same as last night. I’ve just been hand steering for the last 90 mins as wind has varied a lot in strength and direction. Direction seems to have settled now so I’m down for a cup of tea. Have had a lot of water over the deck and waves hitting the hull then picked up by the wind occasionally hit you, I suppose you can’t duck every one and it only takes one hit to soak you. My shorts were soaked and I’ve just changed into my lounge pair but not looking forward to getting back into the damp model to go back on deck again. The bum has been rasping away on the hard cockpit seat using the wet shorts as an abrasive device have to watch that as I’ve just about recovered from the last bout of gunwale bum.

Alex has just taken over for the next 3 hrs. The wind has moderated and veered about 10-20 degs. in our favour. I’ll sign off now so I can catch the early post. It’s good to have you with us.

Cheers for now Pete.

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