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Saturday, November 14, 2009


At 0905 UTC we launched Henry's little box at 22.26.1 S 022.44.5 W with instructions to the hairy old fart with the trident to ensure that it gets delivered by his favourite mermaid. Jelly snakes, jelly beans and chocolate tied with red and green ribbon from Isbella and sealed with gaffer tape. As you do. Onya Henry!

Then I put my pot of contemplating Murph on the cockpit seat and Berri rolled and wallowed and - SPBF - another dent in the pot and only a mouthful of the stuff left. Serves me right - how long have I been out here??

Still in wallow mode, giving the red sail its first southern hemisphere outing. Twin poled at about 2.5 knots dragging our barnacle colony along for the ride and to get fat. Maybe not for long. If the wind drops, we're over the side with a knife.

Norm wrote about all the named corners in Australia where the State boundaries meet - Doeppels, Surveyor Generals etc. - and noted that there is no name for the point where the Greenwich Meridian crosses the equator and did I have any suggestions? Best I can do Norm is Pi for Primary Intersection, AntiPi on the Date Line? Or perhaps Mercator Central which it wasn't when he was alive but now is on most Mercator world charts. Pathetic really, but the best I can do.

Latest Position

Posted by I & G in the UK.

Henry's day abd a big thank you

0700/19th position 2221 02252 trip 98/24 Little bit of breeze and creeping along.

Whoever might have been out there during the night isn't there now. We will send Henry's box off downwind at 0900 and contemplate over a refrigerated Murph. We are 400 miles from him this time but it will get there - why else do we placate the old fart with a trident?

Cloud to the SW could be the top of the first low - hope so but we are still a bit far to the north. Watch and wait seems to be the go.

C. - Isabella told us about your very generous donation towards the iridium bill. Thank you! Very much appreciated.

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Middle watch - Berri rolling gently in the swell - quiet shhsssh sshoossshh of the water slipping past the substantial colony of barnacles along the starboard side - stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae in their gigazillions in an almost luminescent sky - poled out on the port tack in wallow mode, main slatting uncomfortably and may have to drop it and get the red sail out, just shooshling (Kimbra's NE Passage word?) along at about 3 knots - NE swell and about 8 knots of breeze. Will be a couple of days before we know whether yesterday's punt will work out or not - we are at the top of a complex series if swirling high and low pressure systems and the grib predicts that there are a couple of dominant lows to the SW. I think Groupama will be further down on the second one going like the clappers eastwards - I hope so - keep stoking the boilers guys! If we are lucky we will just sneak into the top of the first one and it might carry us into the second. But there are big holes all around so it's anybody's guess. At 0140 on the 14th, we're pointing directly at Cape Town with 2292 to go.

Meantime, sometime today we will reach our closest point to young Henry Knight who will be about 400 miles to the south. I am preparing a little box of jelly snakes and chocolate tied with Isabella's red and green ribbon to send down to him. It'll be a week or so before it gets there, Henry, and 156 years too late but it's a small tribute to you and all the others who have died out here.

Otherwise - ennui. Hot shadeless days, no other signs that humans live on the planet. And suddenly not so. I've just been up to have a squizz and there was a light on the starboard quarter. I watched it for a bit and it vanished. That doesn't happen unless the light was switched off - why? Scary these days and I'll keep the satphone handy. Time 0215/14th position 22.16.3 S 023.07.5 W COG 120M @ 3kts

SJ tks for Groupama post. G'day John McC - I remember and glad you found us again.