FROM 2-2. Equator-Dutch Harbor

4336.46 17351.22 Mon 26/05/2008 14:16

Was right first time – its Andak. Moonless, so far, at 2245 AEST, 2345 local. Hazy, first and second mag stars only, grey sky with myriad pinpricks – Great Bear was directly over masthead, now off to port – undefined horizon – just a heavy merge from grey to black. Doing diesel sums – how far can we motor this time – we have 130 ltrs in jerries and whatever is in the tank, say 60 ltrs so 190 @ 2/hr = 95 hrs or about 3 days = about 300 miles. My Amchitka waypoint is 533 miles ahead, then there’s at least another 400 to Dutch along the inside. In round numbers, 300 miles in the tank, 1000 to go and we need a contingency factor so say 200 in the tank + 100 contingency. I think we’ll keep the motor running for 24 hrs max and reassess with new grib and actual progress as factors.

I saw an aircraft too – I wonder which route we’re under. Perhaps Seattle to Beijing? My aircraft seemed to be going north, and was to the east of us. US West coast over the pole to Moscow perhaps or am I way off?

Follow up from my last about state of mind – I can’t know, of course, that I actually do wake up when things change – just a pious hope – but I do know that I have done so at a couple of critical times – once just in time to prevent the forestay from parting company with the boat.

180 degrees – the International Dateline – that arbitrary divider imposed by Imperial Britain – last time Berri crossed it was way down at the other end, just south of the Antipodes Islands, so named because they are almost exactly opposite Greenwich on the earth’s surface. That was in January 2005 and about 6 months later I stood at the exact opposite end of the axis, on the Greenwich meridian at the Observatory. I bet there aren’t many people alive who have done that. Odd feeling too – think about all that mass and heat in between…Will be fitting to cross it again in Amchitka pass if we do go through that way.

Propagation here non existent – odd – so will try iridium to see whether there’s goodies for us out there. Speed awol in Dartmouth, so might be change in routine.

Just stuck my head up to check for sea monsters and there’s a soft cheesy moon just above the horizon, yellow through the murk and only the first mag stars visible – but there’s a horizon.

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