FROM 1-20. Belmore and Pete swims

Sep 11, 2005 – 2330hrs UTC

2330hrs 11 Sep 2005 UTC 11’07”N 024’20”W Ref 352

We’ve been hand steering all day – since 0900 – with the assy pulling us along at about 7 knots in an erratic and gusty north easterly and a biggish swell – neither autopilot copes with it particularly well but we’re making up some time. Ship out to port, only the second since the Canaries. I have worked out a procedure for bringing the laptop back after a USB event and it’s not nearly so much of a threat – I can now get it back up in about 5 minutes instead of 30 – 40 – so I’m going to experiment with the AIS version of SoB (now closed down and completely disconnected) to see whether it was part of the problem or just incidental. Would be really nice to be able to see the ship out there on the laptop along with its MMSI and other details. Watch this space.

Really wild and empty out here – I was hit by a moment this morning during which I was acutely conscious of the emptiness and the elemental void so to speak. There is a very long NW swell – about 300 meres long, 3-4 metres high – with a cross swell over it from the north and on top of any two of these, you look down and across to the next few in line and feel very small indeed. Not quite as wild and scary as the southern ocean warehouses with roaring rolling tumbling crests but awesome all the same. I suppose I could do the sums and estimate how many more we will cross between here and Oz – but only if I get desperate for something to do.

Aiming to cross the equator at about 24W and head for the back of the high – think I may have told you this already – and we seem to be almost out of the ITCZ and the Doldrums.

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