FROM 2-14. Cape Town-Kerguelens

Prodding for the sake of it

Middle watch again – now nearly 4 hours ahead of Greenwich and the sun is nearly up – tends to ameliorate the horrors! – it's been one of those crystal nights, no haze, stars so bright and close it felt as if you could touch them. Just a bit cold and damp out there to sit in the cockpit and enjoy the experience. During the night, we cracked 10,000 miles from Falmouth on the GPS and I missed it. I now know that the GPS trip counter does not count above 10k nor does it automatically reset to zero so I have lost some miles, perhaps about 30. Now manually reset and counting again from zero. It seems colder here than it did up in the arctic ice – odd. The air is very dense and carries a lot of water which condenses everywhere.

We are tooling along under a big high, just the headsail and as usual, rolling about a bit, making about 4.5 knots towards Kerguelen. Alessandro, south east of us, is making 6 knots and will pass south of Kerguelen on Sunday night. We intend to go northabout and into Port aux Francais if the weather allows. We are about 5 days out if the grib is accurate – due for a blow from the NW in the next 24 hours.

Malcom, Biggles was probably driving a Catalina, ex Cape Town or Reunion. Doesn't all that Boys Own stuff seem quaint – yet I read it ferociously and no doubt assumed its values. The way we were.

Norm – I can't do numbers. No probs digging a hole with ergro but!

As a safety and sea survival instructor, struggling to undo the zip of my sleeping bag at midnight when Pete woke me this morning, it occurred to me that sleeping bags are really bad news in any situation where a roll or even a bad knockdown is a possibility. Doesn't take much imagination to see why.

No takers yet for bird photos – not as many birds out there today and mostly white chinned petrels.

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