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Friday, November 20, 2009

Latest Position

Posted by I & G in the UK.

Not a lot to talk about

0700/20th position 2609 01259 trip 109 and as you can see, we are north east of yesterdays position. The high seems to have slowed or stopped and we are in a variable and undecided SE wind rather than the easterly we were expecting so the best we can do is about 080M at about 4.5 kts over the ground which is about 055T. The centre of the high is still south west of us and what happens next may decide whether we make CT by Dec 5th or even this year! Still in a 2ish knot NW current which really kills progress when your top speed in only around 5 knots. Our VMG is still positive but not healthy. End of marathon pain and suffering! With the benefit of the clarity of hindsight, we might have been better to have followed a similar track to Groupama - much longer, with big risk of nastiness but overall better wind.

Making today's 5 litres of water, slurping coffee having dunked and waiting and watching. The brownish 'albatross' was back yesterday evening - airy, imperious swoops and soars either side of our track, disappearing into the troughs, changing direction apparently without effort, steep banked turns out to about half a mile either side and very occasionally crossing diagonally from astern to ahead.

Will try to grab remaining smidge of propagation window and HF this.


A pair of Spectacled Petricals

Well, that's how it comes out sometimes - try repeating Spectacled Petrel fast. There are now two of them and I have photos of one which might be sharp enough for the blog - very difficult to get focus right with long lens, moving boat and fast moving bird. They are about 700 miles from home on Tristan da Cunha.

Sitting on the front of the high, VMG for Cape Town lousy but we are hoping that it will improve significantly as we get further knocked and tack. Just as the Pacific Ocean was trying all the way from Sydney to Adak in the Aleutians last year to push us back into our box, so it seems that the whole of this huge stretch of the South Atlantic is moving North West at about 2 knots - the North West flowing Benguela current is supposed to be much closer to the African coast. So we've done a lot of sailing, tried some tacks to see where the best VMG happens and there ain't no good combination of wind and current out here just now. The Examiner being snaky.

Malcom, thanks re isinglass - we've always used vaseline which works just as well but the trick is to make sure there's lots of it evenly spread on the shell and doesn't always happen. We only chucked two out of 4 dozen so not bad - so to speak.

Duncan - you've been busy! Red jacket out of hiding and operational. Needs design tweak - I shall write to Henri Lloyd and see whether they are interested.

Latest Position