FROM 1-6. Below 50S

Feb 26, 2005 - 1455hrs UTC

Sitrep: 1455hrs 26 Feb 2005 UTC 52’54”S 109’05”W Map Ref 83

Still moving – still according to plan – VMG in the 6s & 7s. Oh joy! Long background warehouse-sized swell that keeps us rolling gently as we swish away the miles. There’s still a soft spot upstream on the grib picture and we have to keep getting ourselves southwards to get under it. Kevvo has been given his orders down the back and he’s behaving, as always. Kevin, the transom bracket really needs double locknuts in these conditions – the loctite ones work loose after a bit – we’ll fix when we get to Stanley. And some interesting chafe-like effects, probably boat specific but may have something to do with the way spectra casing is braided – only occurs on the starboard steering line and it isn’t really chafe – the casing on the outside of each bend around the turning blocks seems to lose its integrity and it goes fluffy. Odd. We’re now using 6mm spectra and it works much better than the softer 8mm line. Will keep some to show you if you’d like.

It looks as if the window to the Horn is still open -I managed to get a VMC wxfax this morning and the pattern of lows behind us seems fairly stable with just one front – you probably know more about it from the website than we do out here in it. As long as we can get 10 days or so of steady westerly flow we can wrap it up. Pete now has full beard – white and gingery and very cool – and I’m still the smoothie doing the ritual cleanse and scrape every week or so.

Hi Colin – we’ll be back and you’ll get two more Boggers.

El – we’re cruising the airy upper reaches of the bassos and trying to avoid the messy footprints left by the altos.

From Ann A.

Since first reading Isabella’s studio blog, I have been keeping up with all

of your adventures – thankfully from the comfort of my studio – read no wind

or water.  I think the both of you are brave beyond words.

Just wanted to say thanks to Alex for giving Isabella your old shaving

brush.  It became an integral tool in one of my grand creations at our last

class with Isabella at Denman – home of the WI – something we don’t have

here in the States.

I hope your troubs with the generator are over soon.  What I wondered, and I

don’t expect an answer but I am curious – about the brilliance of the night

sky and what it must be like to see forever into the galaxy.  I appreciate

your descriptions of the flora and fauna – both onboard and otherwise.

Fingers and toes crossed for your safe return.

Ann, can’t answer your question – for me, looking out into the universe is a complicated experience, lots of mystery, physics, whimsy (are we just a mini byte of the urge to go to the loo in the vast brain of some life form in a different universe – perhaps a doughnut? Humbling, that one! Don’t, Malcom!) and just plain beauty and wonder, especially out here. But it depends on what you see – Robert Pirsig used his motorbike as a metaphor – the romantics see it as a gleaming sculpture in chrome and leather, the classicists as an elegant and practical assembly of moving parts but both appreciate its beauty. I think I’m somewhere in between. Glad my shaving brush was useful – wonder what you did with it!

From John W.

Just being reading your site.

Try running the engine at between 1200 and 1500 RPM for most efficient charging. At idle the alternator is not working properly. At this rev range you should be using about 1/2 a litre of diesel an hour. Pity you dont have a spare alternator for the engine as you could use a walker log type propellor off the stern to drive it. I beleive somebody makes such a system – nice and simple .Will check on those fuel consumption figures for you. Keep safe around the horn

John W, thanks for engine data. I think a tacho and a fuel flow meter (is there such a thing?) might be a useful set of goodies for the next one.

From Peter C.

Saw your reply, sounds like all is going to plan at the moment & that’s all good, I’d say. Relieved to hear the power generation problem has now been resolved, if not solved.

!!Your Q: Gimballed seat – I presume you mean in the cockpit rather than below, so I’d imagine a swivel + weighted gimballed seat in the cockpit would do the job nicely. Might have to cut out a bit of cockpit seat to fit it in comfortably, but I imagine that’s an incidental.

I understand the problem to which that’s the solution – gets bloody boring staring fixedly at the water slopping past the leeward side if you’re alone on watch for a long time. At least a comfy seat would help the “”on watch”” swivel about & check the sky once in a while. And doesn’t the bum get sore? And legs. And fingernails. Even more amazing is what continuous sea water can do to the skin’s natural anti-bacterial protection.

Peter, the gimballed seat has to be inside – all the singlehanders have them – ain’t no place to sit inside this old workhorse with both lower bunks operational and it’s really hard on the bum and bracing muscles. The nav table seat is athwartships and difficult on either tack.

Simon at Digiboat (Steve, do you know whether he’s out there?)- I’m keeping the tracklogs and downloading to the gigastik every week or so plus as many weather faxes as memory will allow – is there anything else you would like? Would we be able to re-create the track for the website later? It has all sorts of interesting kinks in it, linked to wind and weather and turbine and general stuff-ups.

Elapsed time: we left Hobart on Jan 10, knockdown on the 18th (say 8 days sailing) Dunedin 19 – 26th plus a day to get more or less back on track (8 + 9 = 17 elapsed, 8 sailing) and we’re now in day 31 out of Dunedin so 48 elapsed, 39 sailing. Say another 12 to the Horn = +/- 60 elapsed, 51 sailing. DV & WP! Then about 3 days to the Falklands but daren’t think about that yet – there’s a line to cross first.

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