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January 30, 2014

Day 48: Got that Old Cape Horn Fever………………………..

With around 250 miles to our way mark, Cape Horn Fever has taken over the ship. It has manifested itself by:

1. Our home travel arrangements have been ‘urgently’ requested from the bridge. E.g. flight numbers, passport numbers, hotel accommodation etc.

2. On Fore Port last middle watch, the helm thought he saw a ship’s lights off the port beam. Another ship after all these long weeks in such a lonely ocean? He didn’t mention anything to the rest of the watch until he was sure of what he was seeing. The lights got brighter and bigger as they disappeared below the troughs and reappeared above the tops of the large swell. But he could not contain himself no longer and he drew the attention of the watch to the lights. Pity it was a raising eighth segment of the moon!

3. Penguins have been sighted-allegedly.

4. We’ve had our briefing about those voyage crew who are either staying on board as maintainers in Ushuaia, or for the Antarctic trip.

5. Strange one this, but Kelp! Errrrrrrrrr…………seaweed! Don’t know what that’s about as it could have drifted to our position from Australia, New Zealand, the Chile coast, the Antarctic or from the kelp farms on the Menai Strait in North Wales. But whatever rocks their boat.

6. Crew are eyeing up the sweep stake in regards our arrival off Cape Horn. Who will be the first to drop out of the stake? What time zone are we quoting? UTC or ships time? Will it be day or night? I don’t know what they are all worrying about ‘cos the prize will be put behind the bar for a celebration anyway!

7. Those of us who are laundry persons are counting down the wash days to Ushuaia, and the scramble to reclaim unclaimed clothing is ……..well increasing.

8. We’re now paying attention to the captain’s report……but only marginally.

9. Alan R says he’s perfectly normal, just ask the little green ocean man sitting on his right shoulder.

But I digress. Todays sailing log reads as:

Current position: 55’S 29.59” 074’W 35.67”

Log since Auckland: 5345 miles

Our noon-noon run today was 168 miles, at an average speed of 7 knots.

Current course: 110’ with a SSW wind.

Sea state: force 4/5

Temp: dry 7.5c/wet 5c

Pressure: 992.8 and rising.

We are currently setting the spanker, fore t’gallent, and main course.

The weather has been brilliant. Early on today we had some rain and possibly sleet as well. We’ve had long bright sunny spells and thrashing seas. The swell is really quite gorgeous. Around about 4-5 meters and one wave far bigger then that (some crew got a bit put off by that one, reminding them of the final scenes of ‘The Perfect Storm’, or the storm scene in ‘Master and Commander’, shown last evening as prep for Cape Horn. After it was shown and the girls stopped slobbering over Russell Crowe, we discussed the storm scene around the Horn (arghhhhhhhhh……..there it is again-Cape Horn Fever!!).

If wind gauge permits, our plan is to sail up to 50’N in the Atlantic and either sail or motor back to Ushuaia. Either way we’ll all be true Cape Horners, and will be able to lean our heads in our hands and rest our elbows on the ships mess table! We could buy the pennant and fly it off our yacht, or our TV ariel at home, or tastefully mount it in a picture frame in the dining room and bore our dinner guests and grandchildren to our deaths about how we rounded Cape Horn in a square rigger (arghhhhh…………..that Cape Horn Fever again!).

If the winds go light on us, Captain Chris as told us that we sail further south to ensure that we don’t end up on a lee shore with a wonderful vertical view of the Cape Horn cliffs. If that be the case , then we’ll be lucky to see its lighthouse, let alone the land.

It’s no good; Cape Horn Fever as completely infected the serious nature of today’s blog. I’m off to find my round golden earring that signifies me being a Cape Horner, and search the internet for my tattoo.

If I can’t beat ‘em, I’ll have to join ‘em!

Regards from the Fore Port Watch on tour, Sherwood w/l, Gary, Jen, Babs, Bridget, Paul, Dave and Mike.

 


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