Middle watch, 0200UTC As always, it's the waiting that gets to corrode the gut, this time subtly assisted by the cold, clammy, misty dim grey daylight outside as we wallow along in the last dregs of the previous system. For those who know, just like a claggy winter's day in England's industrial midlands but without the smoky smell. There's a front approaching slowly from the west with a tight little low forming to the north west. The low looks as if it could intensify into something way out past the 10 on the McQ Viciousness scale, but there isn't enough detail on our gribs yet to know much more than that it's out there. Meantime, the anticipation born of experience brews acid where honey would be noicer. So we wait. The plan is, as before, to get as far north as possible in these dreggy fillips of breeze, perhaps burn a bit of diesel if it really drops out and hope that we can get across the face of the low into the northerly stream and out of the 30+ knot easterly which is due down here. We shall overcome.
0630 - unusual sea - calm surface except for small ripples, almost no wind so the swell is obvious. Silver grey sky, reflecting from the surface so very difficult to judge swell height because it all looks flat - but it isn't. Probably about 5 metres, coming in from the west.
We cracked the 11000 mile mark on the GPS odometer a couple of days ago, so there's a Talisker due but we have decided to postpone it until we have got past aforesaid Examinatorial discombobulation. Now at 11226, with 2828 to Maatsuuyker.
Phil W again - the ICOM AIS box has its own separate VHF aerial - works much better than a splitter. Disadvantage is that the aerial is on the pushpit, so range is limited to about 25 miles. Usually enough - in the English Channel, it clogged the screen every couple of minutes.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com