FROM 2-14. Cape Town-Kerguelens

Piccadilly circus in the southern ocean

Position 0630 14th 4313 05359, trip 125, DMG 115. The usual – lumpy, changeable, damp, sunny it's all happening. Now brilliant sunshine, still blowing white crests off deep iridescent blue sea. Cold enough to notice. I have resurrected my arctic sleeping bag, bought in Cambridge Bay in the NW Passage. Pete has his old down bag and bivvy bag from the original gig. Have to keep them really dry – neither designed for boats but lovely and toasty and difficult to get out of.

We have learned that most of Kerguelen is closed to visitors because of various research projects, so we are now heading for Port au Francais. We are trying to establish some sort of contact, to get permission to enter the harbour and I'll keep you posted on that one.

There's someone else out here – apparently Alessandro di Benedetto is just south of the Crozets, about 250 miles away, trying to break the round the world record solo unassisted in a 6.5 metre boat. That's all I know so far – sounds like a mini-transat. If so, I dips me lid! We are trying to contact him as well. Apparently he has a website.

I've been asked to explain Golgafrincham. It's a joke from HGTTG – Arthur found himself on a planet populated by telephone sanitisers, management consultants, motivators, colonic irrigators, bog roll pointers – all the people that Douglas Adams seemed to think the world could quite happily do without. They had been part of the population of a doomed galaxy, embarked in special space ships to find another home in the universe. What they did not know was that they had been deliberately separated from the rest of the (Useful!) population of their original galaxy in their own space ship and diverted to a small blue planet on the outer edge of an insignificant galaxy – and so became the early citizens of Earth. You really have to read the book…

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