FROM 1-30. To abeam Cape Leeuwin

Nov 26, 2005 – 0315hrs UTC

0315hrs 26 Nov 2005 UTC 46’17”S 097’28”E Ref 587

just to give you the feel of things, i’ve just received this from weather perth via satcom egc:

gale warning for the western area

please be aware, wind gusts can be a further 40 percent stronger than the averages given here, and maximum waves may be up to twice the height.

situation at 0000utc vigorous w’ly flow over south of area. area affected south of 44s. forecast sw/nw winds 30/40 knots, very rough seas, moderate to heavy swell.

sounds a bit grim but here we are in the middle of it and it’s relatively soft compared with some of the examiners more interesting questions. and it’s shovelling us home.

really significant milestones # 47:

when you sail a great circle from, say cape town to taswegia, you set off sailing sse and then gradually curve round towards e and then ene and ne. in the old days, navigators calculated the headings along a series of chords inside the curve and sailed the curve in a series of straight lines. today, any gps will automatically give you the instant heading for your actual position – we started off on, i think, 171m and we are now supposed to be on 145m but are actually sailing anywhere between 120 and 170 as the waves toss us around the oggin. the curve we have followed has in fact been irregular and much shallower than the gc because we have tried to run east along 45s for most of the crossing – with varied success.

the r.s. milestone happens when the headings turn north of east for the first time – in other words, past half way. we crossed that imaginary point back near 85e but we were running 45s and didn’t notice. down here, we have been following a new gc from our position about 10 days ago to se cape – and we’re still just heading south, but it’s not far away. the variation here is 41w so 145m is actually 101true (variation west, compass best.) and we’re closing on e.

i don’t know how i will go sending messages from here. xantic is now bouncing messages even to itself and the radio propagation is abysmal so sailmail is very difficult to reach – if i’m lucky, i’ve got about an hour when ti might work around midday utc. i’ll do my best and if necessary will do short satphone updates to mal in hobart. i wonder if it’s possible to feed into answering m/c and do soundbite on website? that would be fun.

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