FROM 1-26. Through the Barn Door

Oct 27 2005 – 1615hrs UTC

1615hrs 27 Oct 2005 UTC 37’39”S 020’48”E Ref 494

Doug has sent us some encouraging news – he plotted the voyage of Henry Knight’s ship the JAVA from Cape Town to Sydney and it took 49 days, mostly along 40 S with a dip to 43 at Kerguelen. That dip would have saved a day at least. They were becalmed off S. Australia and in Bass Strait. Seems we still have a fingernail on the wall – we will certainly go for it and we can decide about SE Cape when we see how things are going. Unlikely, I think, from here. We are running twin poled at 7 – 8 kts through the water and have been for most of the day – but only 5-6 over the ground. Encouraging sign perhaps is that the water has cooled from nearly 20 degrees to 18 – the good current in the south Indian Ocean is cold. The barometer is falling again and we are due for some more stink, but it doesn’t look as bad as the last one. We do need to get lucky and stay lucky from here.

I’d be interested to know whether I miscalculated our chances down here for this time of the year or whether we have just been unlucky. I expected we would average about 20 – 25 windspeed most of the way across along 38 – 40 S – and reasonable seas to allow us to sail at maximum speed. Anyone care to enlighten me? Is what we got over the last couple of weeks the normal pattern? I would have loved to have had a set of isochrones to play with.

I spoke to Fenwick just before the Lord Howe Island race briefing this morning – Was feeling left out – we haven’t missed one for about 7 years. Next year, perhaps.

On solar panels – and ours in particular – we have removed the diodes from the panel itself and we don’t know whether there are diodes in the regulator to stop the battery discharging through the panel – I do have the regulator handbook in the boat, but it’s fiendishly difficult to get at, so we are disconnecting the panel every time before we stow it for the night – just something else to remember. The panel was charging in sunlight at about 4 amps all day – brilliant – so as long as we get reasonable sunlight, I think that we will get across the lily pond talking to all y’all all the way. A half hour top up with the engine should keep us in wiggly amps for the duration. But I’m not making any predictions until we get there!

And if you happen to be a little goldfish and you like coloured lights, have we got a home with a view for you! It seems that we did dip the masthead during the first knockdown – I’ve completely forgotten when it was, if I ever knew – I was looking up at the windex today (the little swinging arrow at the masthead that points into wind) and it is clearly bent – looks as if from the downward thrust – so, if Dunedin is any guide, there will be a little puddle just big enough for a tiny goldfish in in the base of the masthead light. Million dollar views, no cats, no sharks – I can see the queue growing already. Anyone got a rich goldfish?

Comments are closed.