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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Latest Position

Posted by I & G in the UK.

Quickie position

Position 0630 9th 3953 04257 trip 96, DMG 86. Last night's little bit of drama slowed us down considerably. Sea now abating but still big. No longer pointed semi breaking but still very steep and close together. Heady unrolled, main still lashed to the boom, mess tidied up and just waiting till it seems ok to get some of it up again.

Rather tatty looking Southern Royal albatross pottering around, landed next to the end of our safety line. I could almost feel his disappointment when it discovered there was no fish on the end of it. Must be used to following long liners. Further report later.

A change of direction

Tooling along this afternoon watching the barometer fall and thinking 'odd, that's all a bit quick - grib says much less better watch it' Closed the stern tube valve as a precaution - a good move. Seemed we were much closer to the centre of the system than the grib predicts and so it turned out. Just finished dinner, Black clouds, menacing and grim, already 2 reefed, and wham - 35 - 40 Berri surfing downwind wildly, up to 50, far too much sail - no time to get into party gear, just a lifejacket and harness and out there. Roll in the headsail still on its pole, bring her up beam on and drop the main - thrashing around but controllable, just. Kevvo kept his head and looked after us, as usual. Spray blasting across Pete at the mast, me in the cockpit, all ghostly in the spreader lights, the spray cascading diamonds, Berri rolling wildly but now sorted, everything made fast and back inside - absobloodylutely soaked. the howl has subsided, Berri steady on her feet again, from tracking SE before, now barepoled on NE @ 4 kts wind 35 and dropping. A lot of effort but essential. We'll stay like this until daylight in about 8 hours then sort the rather messy deck we left behind. Barometer up 2hp already. Now to do the washing up.

An afternoon at the zoo.

Ferals - a whale! I saw what I thought might have been a spout about 500 metres away, 3-4 metre swell, 10 kts breeze. Waited and definitely saw the next one and the next with glimpses of body between swells. The spouts were flattish and seemed to be angled - could not establish direction of travel and so possible slant angle of spout. Then it sounded - away from us - spout angle could have been leftwards indicating sperm whale but flukes were rounded at the tips, unlike pictures in the handbook so some doubt.

And a big albatross soared serenely past - and they always seem just a bit scornful - one glimpse only and possibly one of the Royals. Waited for ever with the Nik at the high port but it didn't come back. Groups of Prions in the offing.

Little gaggles of dancing Storm Petrels (Wilson's again and probably Black Bellied) - so fragile yet so wonderfully adapted.

Scrofulous old farts smelling quietly amongst themselves as they await cleansing visit and Consultation with Dr G. Iodine, quinine and vitamin C plus psychological uplift all in the one - well, maybe 2 - medications. OF A has just put pole on - taken it off again - gybed and monitoring correct point for Kerguelen. Sweaty business. Grib has been remarkably accurate for last few days.

Water distinctly greenish. VoA noticeably increasing - water temperature now 17 deg.