Day 52

Yesterday, Sunday 2nd Feb, Jenny and Barbara continued the sanding and varnishing of the table containers. Neil, who made them, had invited the watches to create designs, which he then cut out prior to varnishing.

It has seemed strange to be sailing with land in sight, but it has meant that different birds have been added to our list of wildlife – “ducks” that turned out to be Imperial Shags, Pintado Petrels and an almost completely white Royal Albatross. Paul had climbed to the second platform on the main mast – because he could. While there with his camera at the ready, he spotted two black and white Southern Right Whale Dolphins, emphasising the colour and clarity of the water.

While on watch from 2000 to 0000hrs, we approached and entered the Estrecho de la Mare at the far eastern end of Tierra del Fuego. In the middle of the watch, the tide turned against us reducing our speed over the ground from 7kts to 00kts, until 0200hrs when the tide turned and took us northwards. The strait was a little lumpy, with wind against tide, one rogue wave washing the bridge.

The following watch experienced the excitement of sharing the channel with another vessel. She was a Brazilian 21m boat that had been to Antarctica and had left Ushuaia, bound for Salvador de Baier, stopping at Punta de Estsa on the way.

This morning has been sunny but chilly, Sailing in the right direction flying a full suit of sails, including the flying jib and the upper spanker. The latter is the last of Lord Nelson’s original sails. We’ve seen patches of seaweed floating by and jelly fish resembling polythene bags a little below the surface.

At smoko, recognition was given to the invaluable work done by the volunteer crew towards the smooth, efficient running of the ship. Also at smoko, we celebrated with Neil (bosun’s mate) 100 days of his marriage, most of which has been spent on board Nellie.

Rehearsals of our part in the Beggar’s opera progress well.

Forwards port: Sherwood, Gary, Paul, David, Jenny, Bridget, Barbara, Mike