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January 10, 2014

Day 28

It is another greyish day in the South Pacific. We are continuing to steer 090 in a fresh to strong North-westerly breeze. Seas are moderately rough but the motion with 5 squares set is just on the uneasy side of gentle. In contrast to Northern Latitudes northerly winds here bring mild air and the southerly winds coming off Antarctica brings a biting, colder air. As if it wasn’t enough trying to get our heads around the time & date differences. Being upside down can be confusing!

The Sun has occasionally penetrated through the cloud blanket – just long enough to take a Sun sight. Practice with sextants continues but today we were thwarted at the noon sight when cloud obscured the Sun at the predicted minute.

We have not had to make use of our newly found reefing skills but another practice drill is promised in preparation for our descent South to the Cape. We did have another new experience with the rig last night. The main yards were braced half way between square and starboard in anticipation of overnight wind conditions. It must have worked because they haven’t been adjusted since and we are screaming along at 7-8 knots and expecting to make the halfway point in the next couple of days.

Below decks “the choir” met for the first time to practice some rousing sea shanties. Mike led and the voices followed in inspiring harmony. “South Australia” and “Haul Away Joe” have rarely been raised with such emotion. It may have moved grown men to tears. After the first successful gathering, Mike promises to expand the repertoire further. We should have the songbook completed by the Horn. ( Are we there yet? – No!).

Another day and another cake for Dave our beloved cook. Margaret & Tracey presented Dave with another secret bake at smoko – a very chocolaty chocolate cake, and JR had illustrated a rather fabulous card. This was to mark the occasion of 35 years served at sea. A very appreciative Dave proudly showed of his seaman’s discharge book with original picture. It was universally agreed that he hadn’t changed a bit in 35 years.

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While quizzes and competitions abound for anyone bored with Albatross and Whale watching, 1st Mate Steve announced the terms of the next ship challenge. The Great Egg Drop is back. The objective is to propel a raw egg, by free flight, from the Cat’s Cradle on the Foremast as far aft as possible, with the egg landing intact on the ship. Points will be awarded for design, presentation, distance thrown and survival of the egg. Rarely has any event on board created such a dash for the trash. The rules stipulate that only materials from the garbage may be employed to assist the egg on it’s journey. Crews attentions are now diverted from dastardly murder to ingenious aeronautical solutions. “Fhlugtag” day is Sunday and competition between watches will be intense as we work on our magnificent flying (and landing) machines. Watch this space.

Meanwhile on the bridge it’s back to vessel spotting and whale watching – some chance!

Forward Port signing off. All well.

 


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