FROM 1-22. Still heading south south east

Oct 01, 2005 - 2230hrs UTC

2230hrs 01 Oct 2005 UTC 23’50”S 025’41”W Ref 403

Out of the Tropics and south of Rockhampton.

The last few days of nastiness have led to my renewing acquaintance with the boot ferals, who have been isolated and alone since before the Fastnet. Those of you who have come to know and love them will be pleased to hear that they are alive and thriving. Fiercely so, in fact and as they have been evolving in separate communities, each with a festering sock, there are now distinct Left and Right variations, like Darwin’s Finches. There is even  a set of different dialects and it will be interesting to monitor developments as cross trading via the sock exchange (ugh!) resumes over the next few weeks.

Tonight has a soft and gentle overcast and there is a horizon with glimpses of stars – last night’s suffocating viscous blackness has gone and the spiteful mix of wind waves and cross swells has halved. Berri is on the wind in about 20 knots pointing at Tristan da Cunha.

We’ve become used to setbacks and now take nothing for granted, but it does seem that we may have started on the long curve around towards a point at 40 S belowCape Town. There is a tight front forming to the south with a low behind it and I think we are just inside the top edge. If we are really lucky and can stay in it for a few days it will boost us across – but I think we are too slow and the following high will catch us and force us back to the south and around behind it.

Still no Southern Cross – continuously cloudy to the south, No people, no birds, no dolphins no nuffin. Just smelly old us, feeling distinctly battered after the last couple of days of sail changing.

From Malcom C.

While things are still fresh in yr mind, it’s timely to be thinking about the book.  It came to mind this morning while poking around my bookshelves.  Came across a book I won at school way back in 1962:  “”The Voyage of the Golden Lotus””.  It was about three kiwi country blokes in their early 20’s, two of whom were junior officers with the Union Steamship Company.  In 1960 they decided to have a traditional Chinese junk built for them in Hong Kong, in the traditional way, except for a small 8.5hp Lister diesel, and sail it from Hong Kong to New Zealand (8,500 NM) via Christmas Island (Indian Ocean, Timor, PNG, Cooktown etc). which they did in 6 months from December 1961.  The junk had been launched in November 1961

 Once back in NZ, they commissioned a co-author who often wrote about sailing, and the 220 page book with piccies was published in late 1962.  Each copy of the first edition had a 4 square inch piece of the junk’s mainsail attached inside the cover (which I still have).

 This book and the book “”Endurance”” about Shackleton probably helped me end up as an oceanographer and many years before the mast, or on the bridge.

 Think of the influence a book about your voyage might have on any number of kids if pitched at the right level.

Malcom, I’ve forwarded your suggestion to a couple of people – perhaps the book and the cd? Thanks for the Red Lief saga.

Geoff C, g’day – I last saw you up onMoretonBay- how did you go? I hope you got your ticket.

From Isabella Whitworth

As you didn’t reject my suggestion that yr next major voyage in 10 years or so should be north south via NW passage I assume silence implies consent.  Good news was that I didn’t realise that Amundsen did it between 1903 and 1905 in a small ketch, wintered over twice, knocked up a couple of inuit women (seems the thing for Norse explorers to do a 1000 years apart) but got through E-W and returned.  Slow pace was due to stuff called ice in winter.  Greenhouse effect should make the voyage across the top of Canada in this century much easier.  Just this past hour there has been a neat doco on ABC TV (which if you have forgotten is radio with moving pictures).  Seems while wintering over Amundsen learnt a few tricks form the inuit that he used when he went to the south pole in 1911.  Gentlemen start your planning.

Is, did you know that there’s a book about the discovery of the graves of two of the early victims of the Franklin Exped’s lead poisoning. They were buried deep in the permafrost and almost perfectly preserved. I don’t remember the title or the author but it was fascinating and tissue analysis supported the lead poisoning theory. Each had been autopsied before burial- also interesting.

Setbacks – is there no constancy? The clammy darkness is back and it’s raining again. Tedious. I’ve just hand steered through a calm patch, sitting under the boom because I can’t see the wind indicator from the other side – anyone who has been there will know about the masochism involved. The mainsail gathers gallons of rainwater, which flows along the boom and off the end, arriving in a waterfall just where neck, hood, collar and face interact. Yerk!


And yet another sail change – in my sleep time, as usual – and we’ve got 35 knots again.

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