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

May 12, 2005 - 1100hrs UTC

1100hrs 12 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 213

These are getting harder to write – I used to be able to grind them out during my night watches in the southern ocean and further south off South America out of the shipping lanes, but that’s not so easy here. Because of the general crash and bash and spray flying around, being in the cockpit requires full party gear so not easy to duck up and down every ten minutes or s to dash off another few lines.

Back in the Hobart race logs, I think I wittered on a bit about the race and its sectors and relevant tactics, so I wont repeat all that here. There is a general requirement in the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) that all competitors sail safely and obey the rules – both RRS as between vessels racing and the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (Colregs) as between a vessel racing and one not racing, and all vessels, whether racing or not, at night. Second only to this requirement is the bottom line – to sail the shortest possible distance over the course at maximum speed for the conditions. How any competitor sets about this is governed to some extent by the boat he or she is sailing and the competence of the crew.

In a long race like a Fastnet or S2H, other factors arise too, especially for the slower boats – stamina, adequate rest, food, warmth and so on. These things are common to all races. I think the big difference between the S2H and the Fastnet is the need to understand and work the tides and avoid all the potentially disastrous opportunities to go aground that exist along the south coast of England and, indeed, at the Fastnet Rock itself. Tidal ‘gates’ occur at every change of tide and missing one could make the difference between winning and coming last.

More on this later.

Bill and Joan, good to hear you survived the broken traffic lights. If your musings on sponsorship were any more than just musings, we’d be very interested. The ‘getting home’ fund is looking very thin and emaciated, what with new liferaft and potentially new rigging and all the other stuff. Fenwick has offered us $10 – thanks Allan – set up a trust fund and do some soliciting! So I might be prepared to jump through a sponsor’s hoops if necessary.

Doug and Estelle – I’ve seen the Malta DC3 – not much of it left and I thought it might have been a DC2 at first sight. May get a chance for another look in a few weeks when we go and visit my Mum after we get to Falmouth.

And for the ETA competition – running out of time to put in an entry or amend an early one – rien ne va plus after we cross 35N in a couple of weeks or so. I will leave mine on the table as a guide only. At this stage, i see no need to amend it – look at our progress and the impending changes in the weather pattern…We may be able to offer an elegant “Berrimilla Around” T shirt designed by my sister and signed by the crew if the winner would prefer one to the other goodies on offer.

[ed: The ETA guessing calendar is here – there are still some good dates left!]

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