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Saturday, November 14, 2009


Middle watch - Berri rolling gently in the swell - quiet shhsssh sshoossshh of the water slipping past the substantial colony of barnacles along the starboard side - stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae in their gigazillions in an almost luminescent sky - poled out on the port tack in wallow mode, main slatting uncomfortably and may have to drop it and get the red sail out, just shooshling (Kimbra's NE Passage word?) along at about 3 knots - NE swell and about 8 knots of breeze. Will be a couple of days before we know whether yesterday's punt will work out or not - we are at the top of a complex series if swirling high and low pressure systems and the grib predicts that there are a couple of dominant lows to the SW. I think Groupama will be further down on the second one going like the clappers eastwards - I hope so - keep stoking the boilers guys! If we are lucky we will just sneak into the top of the first one and it might carry us into the second. But there are big holes all around so it's anybody's guess. At 0140 on the 14th, we're pointing directly at Cape Town with 2292 to go.

Meantime, sometime today we will reach our closest point to young Henry Knight who will be about 400 miles to the south. I am preparing a little box of jelly snakes and chocolate tied with Isabella's red and green ribbon to send down to him. It'll be a week or so before it gets there, Henry, and 156 years too late but it's a small tribute to you and all the others who have died out here.

Otherwise - ennui. Hot shadeless days, no other signs that humans live on the planet. And suddenly not so. I've just been up to have a squizz and there was a light on the starboard quarter. I watched it for a bit and it vanished. That doesn't happen unless the light was switched off - why? Scary these days and I'll keep the satphone handy. Time 0215/14th position 22.16.3 S 023.07.5 W COG 120M @ 3kts

SJ tks for Groupama post. G'day John McC - I remember and glad you found us again.