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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maybe a light in a few hours.

Position 0740 UTC 28th 4342 14527.
About 35 miles west of Maatsuuyker Island, huge following sea, still breaking with attitude but signs that it's easing a bit - but only due to go down to 25 kts so not much respite. Just had a big one break over us. We are trying to lay Maatsuuyker - I think just ok - else we'll have to claw our way out to sea in extreme discomfort.
ETA Maatsuuyker about 1530 UTC, 0230 local. Should see the light about 2 hours earlier and there should be moonlight too. There's a nasty great rock called the Mewstone 5 miles south and we hope to pass between them and then head for SE Cape.
Tense and interesting - the sea in all its power and indifference.

Predictions! Pshaww!

Last night at sea out of sight of land, I said. Nope. This little doozy is nasty - 35 - 45 knot SW gusts over 10+ metre swells and they are breaking with attitude. We have slowed right down, tiny bit of furler on the pole and we are just trying to ride it out. A couple of near knockdowns and I had to eat my lunch (last 2 slices of bacon fried in olive oil with a can of baby corn cobs - ok if that's all you've got, though the can was a bit chewy!) standing strapped into the galley. Way too hairy anywhere else.

The system is taking us ENE and as we really don't want to be driven into Taswegia's lee shore, missing the barn door completely we will just wait it out where we have sea room. It's supposed to ease any time now but there's no sign of it yet. Tedious in the extreme. Once it does ease we'll be reasonably set to prod the door open once we can reach it.

Macca this morning left me feeling dull and slow witted - what do you think about out there? Duh! Shoulda' said life, the universe, everything, what's the question? why 42?. Anyway...
Watch this space!

The Cooper's coming down...

Well known Australian bush ballad, played this morning by Macca, no doubt because the Cooper really is coming down after the rains in central Australia. One of the lines is 'I'll go dancing with the Brolgas when the Cooper's coming down'.
Not inappropriate under the circumstances - this old Brolga is dancing and wouldn't it be loverly if we were to find an abandoned dinghy somewhere near Recherche with some come-down Dr. Cooper's abandoned with it. There was one down here last time - some medical person must have lost his kitbag. Noice.
Rainsqualls, 30 - 40 kts here in the almost not any more boonies, big following sea, bleeah! Only moderate hoonery - seas too big for the serious stuff.
We heard about the tsunami - won't notice it in this - just a half metre blip in amongst all the rest.
120 to go - ETA SE Cape around 0400 local tomorrow, 1700 UTC Sunday 28th.

An unintended Consultation

What a night! Possibly our last one out of sight of land - three quarter moon, big rolling swells with broken reflections constantly changing, Berri's bow wave surging past making a harder line angling away into the moonshine and flicking reflections off the spray. Wispy clouds, high ice crystals in layers to the south, the Southern Cross piercing the frosty haze above the masthead. Only a few first mag. stars visible. No Milky Way - just glowing haze. Hooooning.

Later - And so enter the Examiner - there I was prodding this thing doing the lyrical wax and suddenly the world goes awry. Berri sideways, water surging past my left ear on the other side of the window. Big wind - roll in headsail, slow everything down. Except that the heady won't roll (and if it won't, never ever try to winch it - find out what's wrong first) - so we've got this huge sail poled out in 30 knots and rooster tails blasting past the cockpit as I go forward to try to work out what's wrong - but I think I already know - and so it is - the top of the furler has fouled the outer forestay and sorting that will be tricky. Wake Pete and with a bit of give and take, twiddle and muddle we get it free and gybe and - hooooning again, barn door in the frame.
Quick inventory and there's enough of the good Dublin Doctor's Compound for a quick Con to celebrate less that 150 miles to go. Yeeehaaa!.