Another concept is Velocity Made Good or VMG. This is a calculated number based on our course and speed over the ground relative to where we are going. It is almost always different from our speed through the water and our speed over the ground but it is the best indicator of how efficiently we are sailing the boat and choosing our courses. On the last tack, our VMG for Cape Town was about 1 knot - then came the wind change we have been crossing all the appendages for and we tacked and now VMG for CT is 4.2 knots - much better but still not good enough to get us there by Dec 5th. We need a constant VMG of about 4.8 for that. Our speed through the water is about 6.2 knots and speed over the ground is 5.4 knots so we are in an adverse current of about 0.8 knots. Our required course over the ground for CT is 130M and we are actually making 167M which explains some of the discrepancies. Perhaps another burst on the difference between Magnetic course (M) and True course (T) and variation in another post.
Deborah, thanks for ISS and Atlantis info. As you can imagine, a big news hole out here - can't even get the Beeb world service without major hassle. I'm about to try using the mast as an antenna. Big Hi to Andrew - the Needles in 90+ knots I can only imagine.
Another word of explanation: Our ISS viewing times are roughly the 20 minute periods before sunrise and after sunset - while the ISS can see the sun and reflect its light towards us if they are anywhere near us bur as the sun is below our horizon the sky is dark enough for us to see the reflection quite easily.
Norm - thanks - jeers and ribald laughter from the crowd is what gets one foot out in front of the other again and again in those last 6km.