Air temperature - 12 degrees
Water temperature - 11.9 degrees
Tasmania is 3,296 miles away
2,250 miles WSW of Perth
French administered Kerguelen Islands are 220 miles south
As "Sal" tracks east we are 90 miles further south then the bottom of Tasmania. Since rounding Tristan Da Cunha 4 weeks and 9 hours ago, we've racked up 3,984 miles at an average of 5.85 knots. Another SW cold front barrelled us early Saturday morning, preceded by the usual 30-40 knot NW breeze, frontal rain and very ordinary seas. Roger Badham (the worlds greatest meteorologist) wanted to know if I was keeping count of the fronts. I've had some!
A week ago I was in "sleep" mode where I couldn't get enough. Yesterday I was entrenched in "eat" mode. I just could not fill myself.
Hurricane DERA is 1,800 miles back over my left shoulder, generating 75 knots near the centre and "phenomenal" seas. Lovely!
MEDIA PARTICULARLY PLEASE NOTE that I am now out of practical range of Capetown Radio. I picked up Perth Telstra once but the signal is not yet strong, so contact with you will remain unreliable for a week or so.
When I made decisions regarding equipment for the trip, the overriding requirement was quality. It HAD to be able to go the distance! NAVMAN provided me with sailing instruments that not only have passed this test, but also did the job to New Zealand and back last May/June, and were there when the whips were cracking in Bass Strait during December '98. I navigate with the aid of a NAVMAN TRACKER 500 GPS, which is a brilliant bit of gear. Chris Baird, from NAVMAN, has donated another GPS to raffle/auction with proceeds to go towards the John Hunter. Good on you Chris. LEWMAR winches and halyard clutches provide the firepower and braking for rope handling, and were sourced from Peter Shipway and team at BARLOW DISTRIBUTORS. I have not had a problem with their world-class product. They are brilliant.
I'm finding it difficult now to focus on short-term goals. The goal that keeps coming to the fore is Nobby's headland at the entrance to Newcastle Harbour. I find it difficult to accept that I've been out here for 5 months! It just seems like I've been for a good long sail. We're 82% complete now and I've just got to keep it solid and straight for the last 18%. Stick with me. See you soon.