FROM 1-6. Below 50S

Feb 26, 2005 - 2215hrs UTC

Sitrep: 2215hrs 26 Feb 2005 UTC 53’10”S 108’01”W Map Ref 84

I’m sure someone will jump on me if I’m wrong but at 60 degrees latitude, the distance between any two lines of longitude is exactly half the distance between them at the equator. We’re getting close to 60 S and we are at 108 11W and counting – the temptation is to sit here in front of the gps and watch the seconds (of longitude)tick away. A second down here is a bit less than one hundredth of a nautical mile or 19 yards (or nearly two boat lengths) give or take and they are going by about every five seconds in time = 228 yards/minute = 13680 yards/hour = 6.9 kts roughly. Which agrees with the boat’s speed log, which is not Fermet’s last theorem but presumably has some deeper and more meaningful subtext. OK, so I’m waiting for the bread to rise for the second time – there’s that word again – and no, I haven’t got anything better to do. All you Striders are out doing your pre Six Foot Track 30 k gallops at the Star – lucky buggers – and here I sit, like Marvin, doing piffling sums while my leg muscles atrophy, or, in Marvin’s case, his planet sized brain. Don’t think I’d swap just now but when the wind howls – maybe…And I think even that’s marginally better than the Pluviometer. Go well, all youse all next week and PB’s all around – you too, Steve.

I’ve just been listening on a working frequency to two men with easily recognisable European accents gargling on ad nauseam between their boats somewhere at the bottom end of south America about the most unutterably boring trivia while the rest of the world got angry (moi, messieurs), or just accepted it because it’s the normal thing. Well it bloody well isn’t, or shouldn’t be. A small request to all the yachties out there: whenever you are tempted to activate your microphones, please remember a couple of things – first, that radio is a public medium and anyone can listen in and start to despise you real soon and second (!), there are other people who might have really important things to communicate and might need to do so urgently. Please don’t hog the airwaves and don’t let anyone else on your boat do so either. End of diatribe for today.

Olga, lovely beanie and much treasured, but you do me too great a compliment. Even at the rate of learning that’s going on down here, my rapidly swelling head can’t keep up with the expansion rate of the beanie, which now reaches down to my shoulders (or, perhaps my head is actually shrinking). It makes a beaut egg cosy for my shiny head when I go to sleep. And please could I have a sexy bag like Pete’s but twice as big for Chrissy please? Please? Ever so ta.

We’ve just consulted the new vintage Dr Coopers and pronounced it good. Very good. And, Shokko, we did a little stocktake and we’re flush. Don’t have to do show offs on the foredeck to get to it either. Life’s good. Eat yer heart out.

Can smell the bread – olives and light rye – but it’s got another hour to go.

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