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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

For the oceangraphically minded

Position 1215/01 3259 00850, 472 to go.

The current has vanished, at least for the time being. Hooooley dooooley! How can this be in a world where the laws of physics rule?

Some observations: We felt what seemed to be the strongest current as we passed the big seamount at 31.40S 008.24W. It sits on a ridge extending from the continental shelf and presumably has a significant effect on the huge volume of water flowing NW past it. We passed over the ridge about 35 miles S of the seamount.

The current ceased abruptly as we crossed the south eastern edge of the ridge and the water temperature rose about 2 degrees. This seems to be a very similar phenomenon to the East Australian Current which also runs along the continental shelf, except that there, the current is warm water flowing south whereas here it seems to be cold water flowing north. I have tweaked our heading to try to stay in the warmer water here and we have every appendage in the boat crossed.

If everything holds, Dec 5th will be tantalisingly close but I think just out of reach given the grib predictions for the next 4 days. Kite at the ready for a tiny snatch of northerly wind if it lasts long enough to reach us.


0700/01 position 3248 00822, trip 106, CT 496 so real trip = 66. GPS trip from Falmouth reads 7144 sailing miles.

Astonishingle, amazingly, astoundingly - the current just disappeared! We are running along the edge of the shelf heading more or less towards CT. Lincoln's wise men may have known a thing or two. Perhaps. Now we need wind. I think Dec 5th is definitely a bridge too far but you never know out here.

Pink predictor, tks for stormsurf. We'll take what comes. El P in the pink.

The last 6 k part 2

Here we are, 500+ miles from Cape Town going nowhere and, furthermore, doing it sideways towards northern Namibia or Gough Island. At about the same speed as you would walk a chihuahua through a peat bog. There's a lovely Lincoln quote that I've kept by me for a year or so since I first read it:

"It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: 'And this, too, shall pass away.' How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!" - Abraham Lincoln

How consoling indeed. Just about sums it up! Thanks Carla.

ISS pass tonight, perhaps, if I have read the numbers right.