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

May 04, 2005 – 2100hrs UTC

2100hrs 04 May 2005 UTC Map Ref 200

The Examiner has arrived back in the bus shelter. Her latest ploy is getting us to dodge tropical rainstorms. I was looking at an angry rain cloud earlier today – small, dark grey, thick, with spiky bits and visible rain falling from it and thinking that’s coming our way. 10 minutes later it was twice as big and really thick and ugly and in half an our the whole horizon was a mass of developing Cu-nim with angry rainsqualls, thick walls of rain ten miles across and moving our way. We tacked to miss the worst and really spent the afternoon dodging up the eastern edge of the nasties. Incredible haw fast it all develops. Very trying – and so hot! No shade – Berri is not fitted for the tropics and doesn’t have a sexy bimini cover and a sundeck so we swelter under whatever we can drape over ourselves. One ship – going south – seems we may be clearing the shipping lane at last.

The big rain clouds here seem to rotate clockwise still. ITCZ conditions and nothing’s predictable.

We are only able to head NW or NE for the time being – the indications from the grib file are that a dig NE out into the Atlantic towards the Cape Verdes would be a good tactic for the next few days. The NE trades are almost North – hardly any east in them so might be very difficult to go north from here.

Later – we are back on north – goody. There seems to be about a knot of current setting us west, as expected. Lovely calm evening, Venus high in the east, Sirius in the south west, Canopus and Pollux out there too. Glow from the setting sun still in the sky. I’m a bit weary – haven’t had a lot of sleep in the last 48 hours and it’s beginning to show. Get the irrits occasionally – not good. Still too hot to sleep during the day even with makeshift ventilation system and we’ve had a couple of busy nights.

Kris, sorry you missed Conor and thanks for thoughts on potential for a book. I agree with you – no one would buy it. I don’t see a report on the medicinal properties of Murphy’s – where’s your sense of scientific experiment?

Brian and Jen in Dunedin – woohoo – still out there! Look for an older version of a Cav 27 – Kay Cottee’s boat. You probably need something a bit bigger than a Brolga and anyway who’d sell you one these days? Tell me how Toastmasters goes – I’m interested in how you use the stuff.

Roger, thanks very much for contacting Don. I hope we can keep the mast up for another month. Leads to the obvious question, which I’m going to pursue in the UK – why don’t we use spectra instead of s/s for all except the fore- and backstays? Perhaps Don would advise. Easy to replace, light, doesn’t need swaging, and just as strong.   Even the forestay, if no hanked sails and an aerial could be incorporated in a spactra backstay.

Fenwick, thanks for the offer of your wages to help us get home. You’re on, buddy, so get to work!

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