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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oscillating Wollongong

Finally - after about four years since we last saw it from Berri from way down in the southern ocean on the other side of Africa - The ISS - new improved version, bigger, better, brighter with Scott's bit of fishing line on the big solar array to hold the thing together. I was not expecting to see it as it is cloudy and 3/4 moon anyway but it appeared in a gap for about a minute - Yay! Thanks Deborah and Carol both of whom sent me this one. I wonder who is up there now.

While it is tedious, this bit of the journey has been really interesting - seamount, current, water temp etc. We are now re-crossing the continental shelf SE of the seamount ridge and the water temperature has dropped 2 degrees. An ominous sign. The predicted midnight wind change has not happened - we are ghosting along in about 5 knots of breeze at about 3 knots. No obvious sign of the change in the clouds - it may have dissipated before getting to us but so far the grib has been very good at predictions. Here's hoping. Soon we will pass Sydney - at 33.51S on almost exactly the same latitude as Cape Town but on the east coast of the continent so subject to very different weather conditions.

Then there's Wollongong, 50 miles further south. I hope we don't need to go that far but if we do there's an ancient Berri tradition dating all the way back to 1994. The journey back from Hobart after a Sydney-Hobart race is often really tedious - not much wind and up to 3 knots of adverse current all the way up the NSW coast. That first time for me in Berri, Floris and I were bringing her home (actually from the Sydney-Eden race that year) and we decided to open a beer once we got to Wollongong which we duly did. Wollongong has moved a few miles further south every year since - a virtual concept! From here, we could perhaps start to move it north again.

Hi Norm!