FROM 1-21. Equator to Left Turn

Sep 23, 2005 - 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 23 Sep 2005 UTC 06’41”S 026’52”W Ref 383

DB: 129, 9657 Gps 131 Definitely going downhill…

[ed: Berri is tracking about 200nm to the east of the northward journey back in May.
Map here:
Berrimilla track ]

Not much to report – the Coolgardie fridge (a TESCO supermarket tray with two cans and a wine bladder wrapped in a wet sheet kept in the shade and the wind and periodically doused) is really cooling the ointment these days – it’s getting noticeably cool at night and this morning’s breakfast Con is next to me as I write and very pleasantly below room temperature.

Steve will be away for the weekend, so you wont get any updates but I will keep sending them so you will all get a major fix on Monday. [Ed: Sorry ‘bout that]

We are on the direct line for sailing vessels bound for Cape Horn or the East Indies from Europe and the US – mostly Portugese, Spanish and English and Dutch in the early days. Then came the Germans, the Americans from the US east coast – traders bound for California and Nantucket whalers and then everyone else down to todays round the world  racers and silly old geezers. In the early days, most of the Cape Horners would have been to the west of us here, preferring to sail down the coast, but once time became important and ships were better able to sail to windward, they would have followed almost exactly our route, before some turned east as we will in a week or so. If we could bring them all back to life for a moment, I wonder what we would see. There would be ships from horizon to horizon – all shapes, sizes and rigs, Magellan, Drake, Anson, Cook, Bligh plus R K-J, Chichester, Connie van Riechshouten (?)and the Whitbread Racers, and the Volvos, Ellen MacArthur, Pete Goss, the Vendees, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. And then there would be all the others going North from the Horn as well. Quite a crowd – Sydney Harbour in 1988 would have nothing on it.

PeterB thanks for your note – did you notice the coincidence? It will be the second time we have shared a platform with Nick Lykiardopulo and one if his Aera’s. The last time was after the 1998 Hobart, when he won IRC and we won PHS but we really couldn’t celebrate. I hope this will be different. but we still have to get home to enjoy it!

From Trudi S.

Thank you very much for the personal message, Alex. Well – I am not sure what the requirements for Ham radio are in Oz, and things have changed recently, as in most countries morse has been made obsolete, which is a pity in many ways, as a morse signal would sometimes get heard in poor conditions when a ssb one is unreadable. At the moment conditions are too poor for anything to get through, it seems. Our singlehander on the Lunatic is not doing very well, his position yesterday at 19.00UTC was 02º25’north, 04º06’west, wind is SSW 10k, he is getting a bit close to the African coast, I think, I am not sure that is a good thing…..Here’s hoping the wind will be better when you get there, keep a good lookout for all that traffic in you area and fair winds from Trudi 

Trudi, thanks. I think your single handed friend may be in trouble. He is probably stuck in the north flowing current along the African coast where the SE trades are southerly or even SSW. If it were me, I would be looking at trying to sail WSW or SW to about half way across, getting lifted all the way and then turning south east near Ilhas Martin Vaz (Trindade) at 21 S 28 W. It’s a long way and I would have to cross most of the South Atlantic twice to get to Cape Town, but perhaps my only hope of making any distance south. It would almost certainly mean going to the west and south of the predominant high in the S. Atlantic. Does your friend have enough food and water? Martin has probably told you that we are nearly 700 miles south of him now and way over the other side at 07 22 S, 27 00 W.

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