Saturday, 6 September 2008

5739 04333 Things to report

What a dull header! First, I think we are clear of the worst of this particular Examination Question. The troops and I seem to disagree pretty fundamentally about the interpretation of grib files, but that's my view and I stand to be chastised by 40 knots if I'm wrong. Worse has happened! Meantime, I'll touch wood! Simon, thanks for all that good info. And if we're really lucky we might just hook into the top of a high behind this low. A bit like the southern ocean where you try to get into the bottom of the highs and the tops of the lows - here it's the reverse but the principle holds. And at last we have passed the longitude of Kap Farvel so I think we're in the Atlantic proper. The Doctor from Copenhagen shall be Consulted later.

Second - grim nights they may have been but there have been some wonderful moments that stand in the memory - twice in the most awful woolly foggy windy cold horizonless gloom as we snailed past Farvel with frozen toes, the clouds have opened and there were the Great Bear and Polaris bright and shining up there - first time, up off Qaqortoq, Polaris was dead astern, and last night he was on the port quarter, just where I want him. Beautiful bright moments, both. Then there were the birds - in the murky grot, Berri's masthead lights cast coloured segments of reflection and we had light green seabirds floating in the soft flossy mist to starboard one night - eerie, ghostly, lovely. Probably Arctic Terns from their calls but might have been Fulmars. Then, there's a dotty Fulmar that's been following us for - it seems - days. Flies along beside us, lands in the water roughly abeam and looks expectantly at us as we sail on into the boonies and he takes off again and does it all over. Some birds never learn. And the Guillemot that landed beside us one day - came in with wings fluttering, full flap and undercarriage down for the perfect deadstick landing - and then folded it all in 6 inches from the water and nosedived - fun.

And signs of humans again - lots of aircraft during the n9ght and a warship on the horizon this morning. Right now we are hooning along with poled out headsail, no main, in about, 25 - 30 knots, more or less steady, sea rising but manageable, heading roughly for Falmouth. Low, fluffy clouds in banks and blobs scurry past and there's sunshine and blue sky - yesss! - in between.

We need to be in Falmouth by 1500 on the 20th so McQ can get to Simon's wedding. Even money at this stage with just a shade towards the positive. Keep em crossed please.

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