FROM 1-23. Next landfall Tasmania

Oct 05, 2005 - 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 05 Oct 2005 UTC 28’54”S 021’30”W Ref 417

DB: 131, 8092, GPS 133 46/64

05/1230 I’ve been hand steering the assy for the last 3 hours or so – wind still backing but unsettled and fluky around 15 knots. Heading for our waypoint at 3730 S 2000 E south of Cape Town, the gateway to the Indian Ocean, about 2 weeks away at this speed. And roughly half way. The schedule has slipped – half way in days is Oct 14 so we will be several days late at Cape Town.

Until today, I have seen nothing floating in the water – today there’s been a stream of flotsam, starting with a 20 ltr oil drum followed by indeterminate bits and pieces – perhaps a ship dumping garbage or the result of a storm further south.

Henry’s little boat should be getting close to him by now if it managed to stay afloat. We were more or less upwind of him when we sent it off yesterday.

And we have a big black Petrel for occasional company. It zig zags along our wake, mostly in a graceful glide along the troughs but flapping itself around the zigs and zags and then going off into wide circles around us, mostly out of sight. Nice to have it there. Need some sleep. This wont go until this evening so might add to it later.

05/1530 Pete is frying garlic – MMMMM!- the assy is up and the wind has stabilised, so the autohelm is in charge. We are making water and I’ve learned that there is almost a certain chance of a USB crash if I try to transmit with the desalinator running (HF getting into the circuits somewhere – can hear it on the radio) and the autohelm will trip as well so no chance of this going out for a few hours.

05/1800 The wind has dropped almost out. Very long, flat rolling swell from the east, perhaps 3 metres, 300 metre wavelength. I think that perhaps we should have headed further south – got the compromise a bit wrong and we’ll have to motor down there.

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