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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


position 0732 02333 trip 116/24 Falmouth 2729 CT 3418 (Both straight line distances)

During my 1800-2100 watch yesterday evening the moon was up close to Berri's masthead with Jupiter close by - spectacular enough on its own, but they had a fluffy halo of reflection off the very high cloud out to about 1 moon diameter and then further out - diameter about 25 degrees - the most perfect and complete halo I've ever seen - breathtaking! hard, sharp inner edge, fluffy around the outside and glowing - from where I was sitting it almost seemed as if it included Berri's masthead. Halo for a stout little boat. Orion is up there now, Mintaka still 7 degrees south but getting closer. Crux soon!

The usual series of rain squalls through the night but all very soft compared to the first lot and quickly dissipating. In a windless patch now and burning some diesel to get across.

Just heard from a friend who sails on Groupama 3 - 103 ft Tri - they had 10 minute average speed of about 45 knots during a recent attempt on the Transatlantic record. Now waiting in Brest for right weather to set off on an attempt for the round the world non-stop sailing record - the Jules Verne trophy - they may come storming past us somewhere in the S Atlantic. As we plod on with our Steptoe and Son shoestring bag of bits and pieces. Go guys! All the best!

In the interests of science and the consumer, we feel we should report an interesting observation. McVities brought out what they call a new, 50% fat free Digestive - yay! - except they seemed smaller (not quite by 50%!) and much less interesting for the inveterate dunker. So we found - with difficulty - a supply of the 'original' McVitie's Digestive and bought 20 packs or so. But Pete noticed yesterday that you can dunk them whole into Berri's original blue mugs whereas we think we remember that on the first voyage you had to break a bit off. Shame! They've gone the way of the narrower 490 sheet bog roll and top qualty bacon where you get a lot of water with your bit of pig. And oatcakes in a carton half filled with air. A shrinking world.

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The last 12 hours rank high amongst the most unpleasant I have ever spent out on the Og. Not scary, except for the first blast, not difficult - just plain unpleasant - line after line of rain squalls - not too fierce but with sheeting flying rain, visibility about 100 yards for hours at a time - so bad that we both put on our TPS dry suits for the first time in anger. Nice gear, though I wouldn't want to live in it for too long. Cloudbase now rising - I hope permanently - rain just drizzle and we're heading south. Just spoke MV Leander, looked like a big tanker, bound for Galveston - skipper reported that we were clearly visible on his radar which was good news and, I hope, confirms that we bought the right radar reflector.

The odd thing about all this is that we've been in a westerly wind since it all began yesterday - not on any GRIB and still blowing - almost monsoonal but we're too fao out and too far north, I think.

Sue - thanks for messages & sorry to hear of your troubles - hang in there - Z commiserates too.
Gordy, an M&M chase would be fun - you'd catch us easily, I think if you had a load aboard. Pete's best mates in the pink...
Scott, g'day and glad you're back, likewise JC. Malcom, think I've found the spot but my chart RS so will investigate in CT if French are co-operative.