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Saturday, October 24, 2009

AU and S2H

0700/24th position 1310 02454 trip 2727=122/24 Only about 1.3 S2H to the Equator.

In astronomy there's a unit of distance called an astronomical unit or AU. 1 AU is about 93 million miles, the distance from Earth to the Sun. In Berri, we have the Berri Unit or S2H which is about 630 miles or just over 10 deg of latitude.

Malcom, thanks - I was wondering exactly where that crash site is. We will be about 1 S2H to the east if things go as planned. And yep - I think I still have the satphone number or mmsi for the m du Fresne.

Still a few Orionid meteors but a very hazy but mostly cloudless night and they are not very bright.

A Touch of the Turgids

0200/24th position 1335 02501

Did anybody else notice that there seemed to be a world shortage of M&Ms from about July - not the peanut ones in yellow packs, there were lots of those, but the real thing in brown packs? More on this later.

It's the midnight to three watch again - Pete woke me and I emerged into the world dripping with sweat and torpor - not just lassitude but that viscous torpor that curdles action and congeals the mind. Lethargy, inertia, all that too, rolled in. Reminded me of when I was a very little kid just starting at boarding school where my pastors and masters used expressions like moral turpitude to describe the attitude of any kid with a gram of original thought or the gumption to use some initiative. Never used about me, unfortunately. I was bumped up a class, so I was too clever by half, or too clever for my own good. Quaint, that moral turpitude! But what I have now is a sort if visceral torpitude where my mind sends sluggish commands to my extremities and they jack up and say go away and don't disturb me can't you see I'm torpid stupid?

So, a cup-a-soup later and not a lot of improvement, I raided the goodies cupboard to find one of the only two packs of M&Ms that we were able to buy in Falmouth (ASDA yet!)and later in Lisbon. And now, about thirty of the little blobs later appropriately sugar fixed, I can at least prod the keyboard. Did someone at the back of the class say 'More's the pity?'

The GRIB shows things getting interesting between here and the Equator. The ITCZ seems to be up and down between 5 and 10 N with a nasty little patch of activity to the south later today. We are trying to get a bit further east to get behind the active bit though that's really too far ahead yet, but also to get a better angle to cross the SE trades later, which at the moment appear to be blowing directly from the south. Fickle breeze here - comes and goes but we're moving.

Thanks everyone for your message - apologies for my turpid recalcitrance in not acknowledging them all but don't stop.

Latest Position

Parked for Zarks sake

39 miles S w of Baha @ 1427S 02517W Why anyone in their right minds would ever choose to sail in the tropics is way beyond me - though Pete seems to like them. Hot, humid, sweaty, windless (well, some of the time) and cringing into every tiny bit of shade to gat out of the sun. Sweat in rivers. Yeeeucht! Beam me up, Scotty. Not worth burning diesel to get us 10 miles south or anywhere really. So we fester - but we have had it easy so far so I'm not complaining. And Dr Grindy not due until 1700, two and a quarter hours away.

2.25 hours later and we're moving again and medicinally sound. The park Zark was probably because we were directly downwind of the line of islands.

Later still - the sun sinking behind a confusion of different level cloud - mostly wispy but with strands going in every direction. Seemed for a short time that we were under the centre of a big circular swirl but it just got all confused again. Smoky crescent moon to the south - we're heading a bit further east than ideal but tomorrow will dictate what we do. The next 1000 miles or so to the equator will be critical - and probably difficult.