FROM 1-19. Senegal and Pete's Birthday

Sep 09, 2005 – 1445hrs UTC

1445hrs 09 Sep 2005 UTC 14’53”N 024’51”W Ref 344

We’ve just sighted Ilha Brava at 7.5 miles. Uncanny – we are directly downwind of it and so in the plume of haze and mist and would have sailed past without seeing it at all if we weren’t looking for it. It’s a big chunky hill –  small mountain – too murky to describe any further. Later, as we pass through the plume and some reflected sunlight gets through, at about 5 miles, I can see that it is quite high – perhaps 2500-3000 feet, very steep, with a small settlement on a ridge about a third of the way up the western slope. The island is roughly circular, about 5 miles across. The Eastern side might be even steeper from the shape of one of the crags. There’s a small harbour marked on the NW corner but I could only see the steep headland that probably hides and protects it. No signs of cultivation, no boats. Had a good look because it could be the last land we will see until Tasmania in three months or so. There is a surprising number of islands in the southern Indian Ocean but we should be to the north of them. And I discovered that there is an island south of Tristan da Cunha called Gough Island. We may pass close to Ascension and St. Helena, but not in the plan.

Lots of phone calls all day – and the Swannies won – and Warnie got 6 wickets. WOOOHOO.

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