FROM 1-23. Next landfall Tasmania

Oct 11, 2005 – 1030hrs UTC

1030hrs 11 Oct 2005 UTC 36’25”S 010’15”W Ref 431

It has been a long slow night. At these longitudes, I get two fully dark three hour watches, from 2100-midnight and 0300-0600. It is now 0500 and I’ve got another hour to go. We don’t have enough batteries for me to read with my headlight for 6 hours every night, nor anything like enough books. I can do crosswords with intermittent light and darkness for thinking. On the better nights, I can sit in the cockpit and enjoy the stars and the phosphorescence and the moon and sometimes dolphins and the clamourous boot ferals – and even commune with the Examiner if she’s around. On nights like tonight, though, the time passes very slowly. It is still blowing 20+, the warehouses have subsided to about half their early size but the boat is still rolling heavily and it’s cold and damp in the cockpit. We’re tooling along through the moguls at between 2 and 5 knots under storm jib and tri – we could carry more but better now to wait until daylight and the next watch change. So the day’s run will be unimpressive. I don’t think we have managed to get quite far enough south to put us under the high cell due here tomorrow/late today so we might be a bit short of wind tonight and through tomorrow. The barn door is 1500 miles ahead still, so there will be a lot of changes on the way. I think we will need to be at or below 40 S by the time we get there. The pace should start to improve once we get down to 40.

DB 114, 7225 GPS 122 52/58

Back to the 2 and a reef. Fingers crossed that we will be able to stay below the high today and pick up the northerlies behind it tomoz. New birds – I remember these from the Falklands too – black tops, with white dalmatian splodges in a line from wingtip to wingtip – spectacular!

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