FROM 1-14. Nearly to Falmouth

May 13, 2005 - 0935hrs UTC

0935hrs 13 May 2005 UTC 17’29”N 035’24”W Map Ref 215 4929nm (2442nm to Falmouth)

A bit over an hour ago, (now much more at send time…) we crossed 1640N. Why is this worth mentioning? – just another number except that it is exactly 1000 miles north of the equator. I think there may be something special with breakfast tomorrow. It has taken us a bit over 9 days and there are 2500 miles to go, so approximately 23 days?? I think my ETA was June 4 – still a bit optimistic, I think, but the numbers stack.

Berrimilla’s Mighty Media Machine has swung into action in the UK – actually a couple of friends have got on to assorted newspapers and TV stations and we are Being Contacted and Stories will be Written.

Bill, as a sponsorship musing follow up, the big media opportunity actually happens when we get back to Sydney, especially if we make the Sydney-Hobart start line. We could carry all sorts of logos entering harbour and racing. If we actually do make it, we will probably enter Oz in Eden on the way past going north, so there would be an opportunity to decorate.

Like the S2H, the Fastnet can be divided into distinct stages. I don’t know enough about the course to do it for you, but from here, it looks as if getting out of the Solent, then around Portland Bill, Lands End, the Rock, Lands End, Plymouth would go close. Big tidal gate at Portland and at other headlands to the west. Because we will be one of the slowest boats out there, there may well be smaller subdivisions for us, especially west of Portland in the Channel tides. Will have to do some serious reading when we get to Falmouth, and talking to the experts. And I haven’t seen the sailing instructions so don’t know what restrictions on automatic steering gear there may be for the 2 handed division, but there wont be much time for sleeping.

Three hours is a long time. Sitting in the cockpit surrounded by twinkling phosphorescence below and the glowing depths of the Bowl of Night, there is opportunity for lots of idle musing. Like what to write in the next of these – how, when it is almost impossible to distinguish one day from another at the moment, do I find something interesting to waffle on about? I was looking at the Pole Star a few minutes ago and thinking that humans must have been using stars to establish direction for longer that we have developed and used our other basic skills. And then – on an earlier theme – thinking about the Ghosts I sail with out here – the hundreds of early Portugese, Spanish and then English sailors and perhaps the Danes and even the Phoenicians long before them, who began to sail the North Atlantic and to use the Pole Star to find their way home. Some famous – Magellan, Drake, da Gama, but most lost to history yet still very much out here. It’s easy to imagine them on the same open ocean in their primitive and tiny ships – probably apprehensive, often terrified, excited by discovery, united by their circumstances yet often divided by their difference in perspective about a particular voyage. Hence mutiny, and all sorts of cruelty and some brilliant achievements.

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