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Friday, November 13, 2009

Colder pints or general relativity

0700/13th 2141 02432 trip 132/24 2378 to CT These positions almost always come at the end of the blog, which gets stitched together in the middle watch and sent around 0700.

We've passed the 5000 mile mark on the GPS. We haven't seen a ship, aircraft, bird or heffalump for days and days and days. Port tack since about 4 deg N.

Another of those nights in which it it impossible not to feel that one is part of the universe. Not a very big part. As I peer myopically into spacetime, there seems to be depth and perspective in the huge slice that is 'now' under an almost clear night's sky. In the hazy clarity you can see how densely packed the place is - so many tiny stars in the gaps between the big ones - Orion, for instance, could be spangles on a cobweb across the lights of a city - other galaxies, other lives? Through the binoculars just gobsmacking. And we have dinoflagellatious twinkles all around us to echo the sky. Quietly wonderful.

We've passed east of Martin Vaz - also known as Trinidade I think, though my chart doesn't say so - and we are nearly level with Rio. 2 degrees or so north of the Tropic of Capricorn - and therefore Rockhampton. About 420 miles north of where Henry Knight was buried at sea in February 1853. We will pass closer to him and we'll send him some jelly snakes in the next couple of days. 2400 to the Cape. Crossing the Atlantic Trench.

And Donald Crowhurst spent some time sailing up and down out here and is believed to have landed on Trinidade as he constructed his fictitious log in that first single handed race.

I pulled in a big grib file a few hours ago to try to get a feel for the uncoiling mess of high and low pressure systems just to the south of us and we decided to believe the predictions and take a punt. At 25.07 west, around 1900 yesterday evening we altered course towards the SE to try to stay in favourable winds and cut the corner to the Cape. We are making about 145M at the mo, so heading between Tristan and Africa. If we've got it right and it all hangs together, about three weeks to Cape Town.

We hardboiled the last of the eggs yesterday. 12 slices of bacon left - quite talkative it is too and starting to de-laminate but not at all green.

Hey Gordy - and the other seekers after the truth in the Chain Locker - sounds a bit bleak over there. Our refrigerated Murphs would be a lot warmer than a pint of Doom from the tap.