FROM 1-26. Through the Barn Door

Oct 26, 2005 - 1600hrs UTC

1600hrs 26 Oct 2005 UTC 37’29”S 019’20”E Ref 489

Wild life, apart from two rather smelly humans includes a sea surface covered in millions of baby Portuguese Man o’ War from a couple of millimetres to about 5 cm. The turbine line gets their tendrils wrapped around it in thick clumps of blue stretchy stringy spiral jelly. We slowed down from our majestic 2 knots to put up the 2 and I looked down into the water and there is a layer, or so it seems, about half a metre down, of tiny iridescent blue sparkles just like chopped aluminium foil in millimetre  slivers. They are, presumably, alive – perhaps a version of the old phosphorescence wizard, the dinoflagellate, but they don’t seem to have any form or shape.

We know that we will run out of tonic long before we finish the gin, so we are improvising. It seemed worth adding a drop or two of the old juniper to our alternate day’s mug of cider and, ladies and gents, permit me to introduce you to our latest Medical Consultant, the good Doctor Grumpy, of indeterminate gender but tasting very like slightly fizzy scrumpy. Certainly sufficiently medicinal to help us through the five o’clock Consultation. We can go for about 8 days on the stuff, so preserving the precious cramp cure for a future rendezvous. We are one hour and twenty minutes ahead of Greenwich here today and we calculate our timing very carefully so that we get our fix a little bit earlier every day. About 20 minutes to go until today’s libation. Hoooley Doooley. Wish we had Baez singing her juniper song – there but for fortune go you or go I…I wish!

Bright sunshine, early evening, warm breeze, hatches open, Berri drying out. Is, the red ribbon, sadly, left us in the storm but we still have the green one and the purple one from Arrival Day. The Examiner has taught us never to anticipate anything on this voyage but I can say for certain that we are 38 miles from the barn door and – right now – hitting a portly Bishop’s 4 knots at the double, cassock flying and crozier at the high port. The flea is rampant, folks. We are way further north than the plan, but the planning at least has taken care of that. I think we will ease south again once through the BD and finally in the Indian Ocean, pace the Examiner. At which point, we will consult Dr Wendy.

Then, I think, we will need the Infinite Improbability Drive if we are to get across in time. The schedule gives us 43 days to cover about 5800 miles to SE Cape by Dec 11 which works out at 135 miles a day. Tricky! It’s looking like Bass Strait and even then it will be a fine chance. At 120 miles/day we could just make Gabo in 49 days or about Dec 17 if we don’t have to call in at Albany. The pear is growing hips. We had no margin whatever when we set off and I think we just blew it. But we follow out Destiny. Marvin, where are you when we need you? I sense a Vortex out there somewhere.

Dr Grumpy has arrived. Noice.

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