FROM 1-13. Across the Equator &1st circumnavigation

May 02, 2005 – 2350hrs UTC

2350hrs 02 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 197

I’m told there will be a Naval Review of ships from 40 navies to celebrate 200 years since Trafalagar sometime in June at Spithead. Back in 1953 an an 11 year old kid at boarding school I was dragged out of school for a couple of days to go to Portsmouth with my aunt and Cousin Nick, then to Spithead and out to Illustrious, where my father was Commander (Air), for the Coronation Review of the Fleet. We saw the Queen and Himself reviewing the fleet – there were about 300 ships at Spithead in long lines stretching down the Solent – and back to Portsmouth and school with quite a story. The ingenuousness of youth. I had a scrap book with all the photos but I think it’s now long gone. Nick may still have his.  I hope the theme is Nelson rather than triumphalism over a famous victory so that the French and the Spanish can attend without embarrassment.

Taking that a step further, we will have to leave England around August 20 so we should be well past Trafalgar on Oct 21. I hope down near the Cape of Good Hope. Pity in a way but we can’t delay or we will miss our own deadline. J.M-B, we’ll be wishing we were over there in Stanley with all y’all and we’ll have a Consultative moment. Or two.

And on deadlines, I’ve been idly doing the numbers – here we are, 60 odd miles from great circle half way round the world, having sailed a somewhat greater distance. We have done it in – roughly – 112 elapsed days, less 9 days in Dunedin and 10 in the Falklands so 93 days, some of them very slow sailing days indeed. Log distance from Hobart is 11513 miles plus about 900 where the log was not working. Say 12300 miles. No allowance for current etc. That is roughly comparable to the Falmouth Sydney leg for which I have allowed 110 days with a bit of a margin. Very much back of envelope, but it’s definitely doable. Watch this space all y’all – we’ll be working on it. With a bit of a surprise at the end, if we can swing it.

We are still very much in the shipping lane here – most of them going south – and not listening on channel 16. That’s really scary and I don’t feel safe when I cant talk to the steel wall that is approaching and I know they probably have their radar on long range so they wont see us either. At worst, all that is left is a white flare and we keep a couple in the cockpit. Normally, we have lots of time to avoid, but in the rain, ain’t so squeezy.

Time to go and look. And, sure enough, a ship about 5 miles away, and not listening. Life ain’t wot it used to be – I don’t like automated safety systems if they don’t include me!

Comments are closed.