FROM 1-19. Senegal and Pete's Birthday

Sep 05, 2005 – 0500hrs UTC

0500hrs 05 Sep 2005 UTC 23’02”N 024’34”W Ref 330

Back in the Tropics – we crossed the Tropic of Cancer yesterday. Funny old day – warm and humid with very thick haze and the sun only visible as a white disc – so not dust, or it would have been bronze or reddish. We’re sailing very conservatively – keeping the boat above 5 knots but not pushing for maximum speed. Yesterday was poled out 5 and cutdown 1 for 6 – 7 knots dead downwind – uncomfortable, could have gone faster but no need. The turbine line is just the wrong length for the following sea as well and the turbine kept jumping out of the water and flailing around – it makes a giant farting noise – disconcerting.

Pete woke me from a deep sleep at 0300 to get that rig off and go back to main and cutdown. Very hard to get the body into gear – till I thought about the crews of the square riggers who had to wake up and climb the rig as well. Easy for us. It seems from the grib that the ITCZ is at the Cape Verdes – there’s a little low forming down there now and we will probably go through the back of it if the wind holds. More with the 0900 fix.

05/0915 DB: 132, 11469 (GPS 135) not bad. Straight line back to Falmouth is 1900 which is a reasonable approximation of DMG and we should be at 1920, so even that one is looking reasonable.

The strategy from here: first we have to get through the ITCZ around the Cape Verdes – this may be tricky, with thunderstorms, fluky wind or none, or it could be relatively easy. Won’t know till we get there. Then we will try to head SSE towards the equator to give us a better angle on the SE Trades, and across wherever that puts us, but aiming for about the mid point. Then we have to get around the South Atlantic high. More on this later.

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