FROM 1-12. 26°S-Nose Brazil

Apr 24, 2005 – 0400hrs UTC

0400hrs 24 Apr 2005 UTC Map Ref 180

Somewhat concerned – have not heard from Malcolm or the website for three days – hope all ok over there. Explains why we haven’t responded specifically to anything you nay have sent.

[ed: Alex satphoned this afternoon. Looks like all the stuff I’ve been sending for the last 3 days has ended up in a bit bucket somewhere. Nothing lost permanently but we need to sort the problem out before I start resending. Lot’s of good stuff in there too – including most of the birthday wishes – bugger]

Can it be that the Examiner has taken her eyes off the ball – or just decided to give us a break? Last night, today, tonight – nice breeze, still hard on but not uncomfortable, tracking to miss Brazil at Cape San Roque and meet the equator at about 28 west. In about a week. The gate seems to have cracked open enough to let us slip through. Too early to celebrate and anyway, we’re now in reduced Consultation mode here in the studio – can’t be convincing unless we’re a bit thirsty and we’re supposed to be on a Twocan per day regime. Anyone familiar with old advertising campaigns for the Doctor will appreciate the awfulness of that one…

Sunset – you have to be here to appreciate the beauty of it all – layers of cloud from high, irregular cirrus and altostratus – mot much more than mist, some tasselly mid layer clouds and a few of the usual rain bearing cumulus around the horizon with interesting shapes. Vivid iridescent silver blue background low in the west, deepening to inky grey over the top and down to the east. Flaming pink and orange and red on the clouds, orange low in the west going pink then red – and all around the northern horizon, grey silhouetted clouds low down opening into the distant universe through pink and orange haze. Quite nice really.

And the moon – one day from full – already up in the east with a halo through the haze.

Later – still clocking better than 5 kts, still heading east of 30 at the equator. wooohooo. Now have a grib file from the equator to 10 deg north – the NE trades look a bit fearsome – mostly N with very little E and about 25 – 30 knots, so at least 600 miles of hard slog when we get up there. Quite small windless belt at the equator – fingers etc. once again crossed.

One visit from a seabird – probably the same one. Greyish, a bit hawklike, white bands on outer ends of wings.

Both Bums still cause for concern but we think perhaps under control. Doing a lot of standing and awkward perching to keep the weight off the pointy bits. Boat’s motion relatively easy now, but not looking forward to NE trades.

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