FROM 1-7. Near the Horn

Mar 03, 2005 - 2348hrs UTC

2348hrs 03 Mar 2005 UTC 54’34”S 094’10”W Map Ref 97

Our applied TRS avoidance strategy seems to have worked. We moved up and to the north of the low and we think we are now in the westerly flow behind it. Poled out storm jib and #4, chosen for flexibility – we don’t know what the wind and waves will do to us over the next couple of days and we are getting 6 knots with the option of changing easily up or down. Cape Horn is now on screen on the gps and the laptop and the countdown has begun. Already well south of the Straits of Magellan. We’re now at -922 (or 37k and hurting, for the runners). Adequate stocks of all essential supplies – just hope we can get a real lift from the remains of this system. Drum roll, fade in Men at Work or Baez singing We Shall Overcome – not yet time for Kathleen Ferrier and Blow the Wind Southerly but maybe Copeland’s Fanfare or a Hoffnung symphony for Vacuum Cleaner, Bathtub and orchestra. Sock cooking clearly calls for themes from Python or the Goons.

Same pair of albatrosses still with us – absorbing to watch and delightful to have them for company. They sometimes fly out in front and settle on the water together just out to one side, quite round and tubby on the water. like Tenniel’s pictures of the Dodo and sort of contemplate us and eachother, or they soar and glide and do slow dives and floating passes at water level, huge wings curved down to stroke the surface, massive shoulders bunched behind their heads, tapering to a thin flat tail only a few inches behind the trailing edges of their wings. The bigger one looks as if it would easily span the boat’s beam with a big wingtip beyond each side. They are white underneath with flecked grey tops radiating out from the wing roots. Not sure but their beaks may be darker on top. Have tried to film them but almost impossible – camera not waterproof and self focus can’t cope with amount of movement over indistinct background. Also almost impossible to keep them in the viewfinder in the present version of the corkscrew – same problem as Pete has keeping the sun in the sextant telescope except that these guys are moving deceptively fast as well.

We have been told that there are some big racing catamarans behind us somewhere going very fast in something called the Oryx cup. I hope someone has told them we are out here too. We have channel 16 on all the time, just in case, and masthead lights at night. Dayglo orange storm jib up too which adds a touch of visibility.

To those of you who have very kindly sent URL internet addresses in answer to questions, thank you but we can’t access the internet from the boat except in the most limited way. This is a very primitive set up here, relying on an interminably slow High Frequency radio link to a computer in Chile, which sends messages either way but can only cope with plain text so no pictures, web pages (unless plain text and within size limit) attachments, data or HTML. It strips all that sexy stuff from each message and we get what’s left, at a speed that anyone under 30 wouldn’t believe. It is Steve in Sydney and Malcolm in Hobart who make the whole thing look slick.

From Doug M.
The Rosetta flypast (manmade satellite it appears altitude 1900 km) is noted on the following website – photos of the flypast can get a major prize to view a satellite launch etc. Good prize. See If the flypast time could be sorted out and Alex Pete could get a photo from Berrimilla they would be a sure thing for a prize. Seeing they have got nothing else to do.

From Mick C.
Hi when will you get to Falmouth? We may be able to get down to see you again since the last time in Windsor Crescent

Doug, given present conditions, I doubt we’ll see Rosetta fly past and we certainly don’t have the gizmology or an adequate camera to photograph it. Nice idea though, and thanks. Hope to hear from you about next expected aurora.

Mick C, we’ll be in Falmouth in June/July give or take if all goes well.

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