FROM 1-27. Indian Ocean Examiner

Oct 30, 2005 - 0200hrs UTC

0200hrs 30 Oct 2005 UTC 38’32”S 025’39”E Ref 500

Another frustrating day – we are bare poling again in a NE/35-40 off the back of a high – I misread the grib, not that it would have made any difference except that it was unexpected. It’s not the wind – that is essentially trivial – but the combination of wind, waves and required direction. We were doing nearly 7 knots last night with just the 5 but rolling and crashing into a rising beam sea and we thought that prudence should take over. Bare poling gives us about 3, and a bit more to the south, rolling horribly. We haven’t had more than about 6 hours straight with any sail combination since we passed Tristan – or so it seems. We make radical sail changes several times a day just to stay safe and keep moving roughly towards Oz and it’s very much stop/start sailing. The weather systems just keep trucking through. It’s 0200 UTC as I write, with about an hour to daylight. The wind has blown solidly and steadily all night but should back and increase during the day, so we will await developments. Meanwhile, the house battery is down to 11.4 volts, I think it will be an overcast day, so we will need at least half an hour of engine. We can’t make water with the present motion and wind angle – the inlet line, with the seacock deep under the mast, still gets airlocks in it as we roll. We have about 70 litres in reserve, some of it in bottles we have carried sinceDunedin. This is about 18 days supply and I think it is time to start using this when we need it. Sadly, we will be unable to supplement it from the Medicine Chest for as long as we had hoped.

Despite the frustration, today we will have a small celebration for our longest passage – probably a Consultation each from the deteriorated ready use supply and an Allen’s jelly snake each to remind us of where we are heading.

One of the things I try fiercely to protect is the integrity of the stuff I sleep in – bunk, searug, bivvy bag and sleeping bag and clothes. Everything gets wet unless it is protected and there is often flowing water across the cabin floor when we roll like this – the residual water in the bilge comes up and around the edges of the floor with each roll – this morning, I got up, decided I would treat myself to a rare cup of coffee and scrabbled around for the coffee jar. Found only a jar with brownish coffee smelling water that might once have been it – so opened our last coffee brick and boiled the water and as I stepped back from the stove, felt something under my foot. It was my favourite red knitted beanie that cossets my uninsulated swede when I’m sleeping – knitted by Olga – and it was wringing wet. Bugger. Not Happy. The Navy in Port Stanley gave us a roll of wonderful paper towels that I’ve been using to wipe down the nav area during bad condensation – they are so good that I can recycle them and dry them out – so I rolled the beanie tightly in a couple of them to soak out the water and I’ve now got a damp beanie – might have shrunk a bit, which wont hurt.

Talking of jars,Gary- still got them all and they are doing the job – thanks – we’ll sign one for you when we get back – you can have whatever is left in it!

Now early daylight – engine ticking over and charging at 20+ amps. Trying the watermaker.

Things are starting to wear out. The seams have failed in my right boot so a whole colony of ferals has evacuated to who knows where and I’m down to wearing my waterproof socks again. I think I have a spare pair of boots but I haven’t seen them for ages. If I haven’t, it’s going to be a long trip home! Wet feet are the pits.kts

I wonder how they are going in the Lord Howe race.

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