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Thursday, October 22, 2009


Position 1706 02555 Trip 2478 = 135/24 - noice.

We have just passed the Banco Do Noroeste at the NE point of the Cape Verdes. Short lumpy sea and Berri has been a bit lively all night - jerky corkscrewing bouncy motion and very difficult to do anything or even brace. Drinking a cuppa takes some skill. Still dark this far west but lighter sky in the east. Saturn has risen. Orion now to the west.

I'm running the watermaker without the engine for the first time since Lisbon. The Airbreeze at full whizz in the 14 kts or so apparent that we now have carries about half the load. The watermaker needs 6 amps for the hour it takes to squeeze the 4.5 litres we use so we're only down 3 amp hours and no diesel. Whack fol the diddle-o. It means that the whizzer is putting out about 5 amps - 2 for the boats gizmology and 3 for the squeezer. And it keeps the voltage at 12.9 - fantastico!

Carol - lots of Orionid meteors - mostly little ones, appearing to fall directly into the NE horizon, some white, some yellowish. Pete saw another big one - these follow a different line and may not be related. Intermittent cloud so we probably missed a few.

Have to stop this every 12 minutes or so to check the watermnaker bottle - we never squeeze directly into the water tank because if the membrane were to kark, we'd have salty water in the tank - no fantastico - so we have two reserve plastic bottles with 6 litres between them and a further 9 empty tonic bottles that we fill and keep as the ready-use supply. This way, we keep the tank full of Lisbon water and use only squeezed ocean. If we use any from the tank (and no reason to do so unless the squeezer fails) then we can first taste the squeezed bottles and if ok, pour them into the tank. By doing it this way, we also know how much water we have to survive on it both squeezers - or the electrics - fail and we can ration accordingly. We do have a handle that can be fitted to either squeezer if the electrics go so we can still make water manually.

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Latest Position

Posted by I & G in the UK

Just an update - started around 0900/21st

Course altered - dropped the little red number which has earned its keep! - now just the single, full headsail still on its pole and haven't lost any speed. We'll observe for a couple of hours as there's no point in overpowering the boat and making Kevvo sweat as well as getting spray in the cockpit for no real gain. About 12 days to the Equator iff we can keep up this speed. It's getting scary - far too easy - I suspect the Examiner will intervene somewhere along the track.

Carol, thanks for Orionid meteor info. The big one a couple of nights ago was tracking roughly NE > SW from probably a bit north of Orion. Was spectacular - I've seen a few little ones since but no apparent pattern. A request please - somewhere in the boat I have (lost) my short wave frequency handbook. Could you please interrogate the BBC website and see whether there is anything we can receive out here and relevant times and frequencies? We have a digital SW (+MW LW FM) receiver. Tks!

Doug, thanks for Henry's co-ordinates. I now have his resting place as a waypoint so we are reminded of him and of all the thousands of others who have died out here and have no name or record in history. Young Henry died on Feb 6th, 1853 and was buried at 2535 S 02609 W. His sister Susan? died within sight of the lighthouse at Cape Town, so if we go that way we will send her some jelly snakes as well. And I look forward to your Kerguelen discoveries. We've done the equations and reality is looking like Cape Town and not S Georgia - SG just a bridge a bit too far but still possible. Kerguelen might be an acceptable substitute.

The birds are back - Storm Petrels and their bigger relations but I was looking into the sun so too hard to get features. Later perhaps.

Now 1730/21st Trafalgar and all the dead sailors commemorated - position 1816 02533 and a-hooning. Will need to grab lots of easting after the Cape Verdes so as to cross 05N at about 22W - so sayeth The Admiralty in Ocean Passages of the World. Nice to think that this is the turn for home but I doubt it - I think we will have to cross to about 30 W after the Equator - but we might get lucky.

And the Whizzer whizzeth and it keeps up with the battery discharge at about 12 kts apparent. Good one!

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