FROM 2-12. Lisbon-Equator

This, that and the Examiner

0200/15th 2810 01821

Cloudless, moonless night sky, light haze, so the universe and all its marvel and mystery shining through lightly frosted glass. Wonderful! Two light trails on the water – Jupiter, setting to the west, and Sirius, just risen to the east. Mintaka, our zenith star for the equator in a couple of weeks at about 20 degrees to the south east. The haze just smothering the glow of the nebulae. The lights of Valverde on the horizon 25 miles to the south east. Wouldn’t be in London for quids.

Silence except for Berri’s passage, like sitting on the banks of a gentle stream. The occasional grunt from the autopilot. Twin poled, perfectly balanced, slipping along at a bit over 4 knots in 5 apparent – not enough to turn the blades of the whizzer or to give Kevvo the inspiration to do any work – lazy old fart. And the creaking of the kite halyard cranked up tight to support the little red yankee and its roller system. Bliss – it’s been a doddle from Lisbon. We dodged the early southerlies by staying east of Madeira and we’re just inside the band of wafting northerlies along the African coast.

My 2 day old GRIB shows a low pressure system forming to the west, confirmed by the loom of lightning flashes over the horizon. We need to stay over here for a lot longer. The Examiner reminding us that there is more to come! Last time we were here, a bit further west, we went through the back of what became hurricane Katrina. I hope this little system is benign.

Wildlife, apart from the feral zoo inside the boat. Only two birds since Madeira, clearly a pair but too far away to distinguish features. Big, gliders, grey with long wings. Two tiny moths (or perhaps the same one twice) triangular when perched, about 1 cm each side and beige. Didn’t realise what it was till it took off – and it might have found another perch and reappeared a couple of days later or perhaps sent its sister along. And a big buzzy insect about 4 or 5 cm long, could have been a huge bumble bee but it didn’t hang around. Some tiny fish being chased by something needing breakfast. No Dino flashes in the wake tonight.

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