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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Pallid,s with attitude

Position 0630 19th 4751 06510 trip 94 DMG 93 and Kerguelen 150. A day and a bit AGW.

Much earlier:
Fogg! Thick, wet and dank. This isn't just convergence zone mist, it has clammy coils and glutinous texture. It's dark, woolly dark and out in the cockpit, in the red beam of my head torch, I can see the droplets streaming past like paint going on brick. We are directly south of the centre of the tight little low I thought the Examiner had put here to bash us and 189 miles from the nearest rock. I hope! If it persists, we will have to stay a safe distance out to sea. Different tactics, perhaps, from the desk of the Examiner. There's just enough wind to fill the sails, except for the lumpy sea, as per my last, so we have the engine idling to give us steerage way and we are trickling forwards, still rolling horribly.

This post will sit here and expand as the night goes on. Time now for a dig into the can of lychees followed by toothpaste - yuk! - and the sack for 3 hours and then the middle watch. Oh joy! Maybe more then.

On the subject of head torches and toothpaste - I use specially fluoridated bright blue goo for my straggly gnashers but in the red light of the torch, it looks inky black. I'll know I'm back in civilisation, or just as different time zone when it turns blue again. Perhaps there's a measure of longitude in there somewhere - the chromatic variation of toothpaste, CVT, maybe? Would go nicely with the VoA.

Dozy old git. That WAS the middle watch. Head seriously out of phase. Now daylight and still in thick fog, vis about 500 metres. If it hangs around as it did for Cook, we've got a problem as we get in really close. The warning on the chart says don't assume that GPS positions and the chart agree. As for the weather, on our current grib, I think we just might crack it lucky - the fog should have gone and we should be in a 20+ NWerly which would be perfect for a look at Baie de L'Oiseau and its collapsed arch. In three days, though, things can change radically down here!

Half an hour after I wrote that, the fog lifted - one minute it was thick around us, next it was 100 ft above and I had a horizon. Then the wind came back and we're away again. The next grib will be interesting.

On that money puzzle, if there really are the 8 solutions that Pete thinks he's found but got bored checking, we have an interesting statistic. Everyone except Malcom came in with the same solution, which must be somewhere out on the extreme end of the probabilities. Malcom gets away with his because I was a bit sloppy with my original statement of the problem.