Day 44 Sunday 26th January 2014 – Australia Day

Wow … so many highlights over the last 24 hours! I don’t know where to start. Personally, my high point was climbing up to the fore T’Gallant yard to make fast the gaskets to stop the sail flapping around. This was a huge challenge to me and I am proud of myself for doing it – very much what JST is all about.

However the big event yesterday has to be Burns Night which was held in the Lower Mess. The St Andrew’s flag (the Saltire) was on display and the haggis was ‘piped’ in by Neil and an ipad playing appropriate music (the bagpipes still do not work!) The haggis carried by Cookie Dave was addressed by Captain Chris with a superb poem and excellent accent – he is so good at those. Toasts were made by our Mike and Emma, and Alan gave us a synopsis of Rabbie Burns’ life and work, including some well received jokes which can not be printed here! Sadly ‘neepless’, Cookie made a good substitute with his carrot and tattie mash and the whisky/oatmeal/cream/raspberry pud was lovely too. An excellent evening was allegedly enjoyed by all.

I say allegedly because most of Fore Port watch were up above doing what we do best! Just as we came on watch Aft Starboard steered us across the 1000 miles to Cape Horn mark and a little earlier Steve announced that we had crossed the 50 degree South line on the chart and were officially in the Southern Ocean. Hooray!

So far we like the Southern Ocean – we have big swell so the ship is a little lively, plenty of wind gusting up to 30 knots as I write and we are doing 7 to 8 knots in the right direction. We know it is the right direction because Barbara and Paul under the watchful eye of Gary have been using sextants to plot our position. Last night was lovely with a starry sky and plenty of known stars to ‘shoot’ and use to find our latitude. We also had a great sunset and satellites to amuse us. However Lesley, Steve and Marcin would quite like to keep the GPS as well as our calculations just to stay on the safe side.

Further amusement yesterday was provided by an amazing Royal Albatross which not only hovered very close to the ship but then started flying through the rigging. Our helmsman had a great view of the underside of an albatross.

Today is Australia day with special Smoko (we like those as they mean cake!) and a jolly rendition of Down Under. Sadly due to a very uneven pitch the Nautical Ashes cricket match has been postponed through fear of injury.

Sunday service was led by Stephanie with music provided by Margaret, laundry is being done, the bar/library is quiet and our watch have taken sun sights which prove that we are where we are so all is right with the world of Lord Nelson.

Thank you for following our progress, it feels good to know you are out there and interested in our little world.

Jenny, Gary, Sherwood, Paul, Barbara, Dave, Mike and Bridget (Forward Port Watch)