FROM 1-28. How Low To Go? Towards 45°S

Nov 06, 2005 – 0500hrs UTC

0500hrs 06 Nov 2005 UTC 40’09”S 041’38”E Ref 525

We’ve torn our tired old warhorse of a mainsail at the second reefing cringle in the leech. I’m astonished that it has lasted this long – the sail has now travelled further than most – made in 1993, 8Hobartraces including ’98 and return, 5 Lord Howe and return, plus all the normal sailing in between and this year around the Horn and the world. A true and faithful servant indeed! We have the third reef in now so the sail is still set but we will exchange it for the new one when the wind changes.

Wonderful sailing – we’re broad reaching at 6 – 7 in a 30-40 kt southerly, short steep seas on the beam but not threatening, tho may build. Berri surfing at times, main feathered right off so that it is only fully occupied when the boat gets a bit pear shaped and needs a bit of a shove to get it back up and on line again. #4 at the front, decks constantly awash and heading due east along 4010 south – Brill! Long may it last and it’s going to have to if we’re going to make the line.

By my reckoning, we have sailed about 9200 miles fromFalmouth, with about 5000 toSydneyand 50 days to go. Still doable, but only via Bass Strait and preferably bypassingAlbany. We still have 70 litres of diesel and I think we can make it last – as long as we start to get some distance in the log and a bit more sunshine. The flea is inching its way across the chart maddeningly slowly – still not pastMadagascar- I no longer have the pretty SOB nav system picture to play with, so I don’t get to look at it as often as I’m used to, which may not be a bad thing. Still feel bereft!

Small squid arrived on deck last night – inked everywhere – was too busy when I first saw it to get it back into the water but it’s gone now. Petrel escort still with us and the cigarette ash and mud albatross type birds are back – they have very dark brown heads and similar beaks, ash mix mostly between shoulders and part way out along topside of wings.

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