FROM 1-31. Sooo close to Hobart

Dec 07, 2005 – 0900hrs UTC

0900hrs 07 Dec 2005 UTC 44’10”S 132’12”E Ref 627

DB: dmg 126 (prudent night) gps 136, dtg 639, margin 637+6=643 day 109, 20 to start, 11 to TI – maybe 5 to SEC.

Once again in hoon mode, this time with attitude. We’ve got a gusty 30 knots directly up the chuff, big swell left over from the big low still trucking through from the west with serious wind waves over the top -so confused, lumpy, steep seas and taxing Kevvo’s trusty arms to the limit – Berri tends to career down the front of a big wave generally off to one side or the other and Kevvo’s paddle goes almost horizontal with the correction but it doesn’t seem too stressful because the twin poled rig just pulls the boat straight as it gets down into the trough and helps him out. Magnificent sight as the rooster tail streams past in a flashing sparkling cascade of foamy blue green water with the sunlight turning it into iridescent glass. Dull to describe the colour as blue green but I can’t think of a simile – amethyst going on jade going on swimming pool all at once and luminous. Lovely – and lethally indifferent to our presence. At times like this, we really dip the lid to Kevin Fleming for his superb and elegant creation bringing us home with accuracy and dependability.  We’ve been thinking about the things we could least do without – Kevvo is at the top of the list by an ocean mile. Kevin F. is now only about 500 miles away to the north – Onya Kevin! Tried to phone you today and will try again.

I saw the moon again for the first time in weeks last night – just a brief wreathed and silvery apparition behind racing cloud. Nice to know it’s still there.

If we don’t break anything and the Examiner leaves the door ajar, We’ll pass SE Cape sometime late on Dec 11 or early 12th. and up into Hobart for a rapid pit stop, clear Customs, slip, refuel, quick look at the radio to see whether there is any obvious reason for our difficulties contacting sailmail (could easily just be dreadful propagation at the mo) replenish the Medical Supplies and outta there and back on the track up to the start. We plan to get into Sydney on Dec 20 – but remember Mr Burns’ Mice and their best laid plans. Or for that matter, Mr Adams’ Mice, who really rule the world. Except that the Dolphins really really rule the world.

Duncan W. thanks – I’m right with you on confidence in your boat – but isn’t it at two or maybe three levels? Everyone knows at level 1 that a Brolga or a Halberg-Rassy or an S&S 34 are examples of great designs, so as a class they work. Then there is the second level – each individual boat has to be tested to see whether it has been properly built, set up, looked after – all that stuff. Then you take it round the Horn, if that’s your gig. The third level is a bit more subtle – it’s about confidence in yourself sailing in your boat and taking it to your – ever extending – limite. I’m just learning how to sail Berrimilla after 14 years and a few modifications that I generally think about for a year or two before actually doing. Stay in touch – if you want my shore email address, let me know.

Dave and Liz – thanks and sorry we missed you in Falmouth. All the best with your Examiner. I hope s/he’s as tough as ours, so you feel as good when you get to the end.

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