Tuesday 4th. June
The low pressure avoidance tactics have worked, we are nicely between two low pressures in the Roaring Forties. The low that is tracking to our West that we could have been in the middle of was forecast to have winds of up to 70 knots so we took a course to avoid which has taken us as far North as we need but not as farEast as we would have liked at this stage. However the forecast for the next 4 days appears to be perfect winds to help us sail directly for Tristan da Cunha. It has been disheartening for everyone to be heading only marginally towards our target destination for so long, however we are now directly on track with the miles ticking down nicely, only 1400 NM to go!!!! That is is a week of sailing to get there!
Having said that the low pressure zone avoidance tactics have worked we have missed the 70 knots area but are in the middle of 40 knots in rough seas, so this still makes for very interesting sailing. Magnus has hopefully managed to get some spectacular footage for us from the deck this afternoon, waves crashing over the foredeck looks very spectacular. In the most part we are we are very safe and warm on Pelagic Australis as she has a good pilot house and the foresails can be trimmed from the cockpit without having to go forward, unless the main sail needs to be altered we don't have to venture forward too often, but it makes for good footage!!! When we say rough seas that means a swell/ wave height of 4 metres in height, I am sure the South Atlantic could throw more at us if she wanted too, but that is quite enough for the moment thank you.
5 days since we last saw land. For most on board the is the longest anyone has been at sea. It is quite peculiar to think it could be up to a further 7 days before we see Tristan, that is if the winds are good enough to get us there, if not, itmay be 14 plus days to go!
Watching the bird life that is swirling around the boat is quite a regular pastime, as the only life other than our own little PA world the birds are a welcome distraction. We have Prions with us today, they have arrived in quite a flock. Yesterday we had Wanderer and Grey Headed Albatross and the usual smattering of Wilson Storm Petrels.
The chores this morning included the usual deck checks which identified that one of the ropes(the Prang ) where there had been a previous repair needed mending again. Thankfully, the rope could be temporarily swapped out for the opposite equivalent rope to allow the repairs to be undertaken inside, rather than in situ on deck. The lessons in the craft workshop yesterday have now been out in to practice andI ( Claire) repaired the rope using then skills from yesterday. It was debatable whether it was good enough as the repair may have been to thick to go through some of the blocks but with some extreme needle craft and very tight "whipping" of the rope along with some expeditious use of the persuader (hammer) to reduce the size, the Prang was out back in to action. Much to my satisfaction for a job well done. I may end up eating my words if the next one needs done on deck, but I will cross that bridge if the need arises.
Well the low pressure zone had us in her grasp for sometime. We had a good period of 40 knots plus winds which are at last favourable so we have now turned eastward and are travelling at a lickety slick quick pace towards Tristan. In the last 20 hours we have covered 180 NM, yyyyiiiippppeeeee! We are in the middle of the low now in calmer seas and low winds, waiting to get swept up again as the other side of the low passes over.
There have been some hilarious moments during the higher wind periods. Eating dinner was frustrating but amusing in hindsight. We served jacket potatoes with a bolognese sauce that we had frozen a few days go, having served to Wojtek he promptly sat down in the saloon to tuck in , the plate was secure on the sticky mat on the table but we are heeled so far over at about 45 degrees, the food instantly left the plate and went over the table. This was quickly followed by Andy sitting next to him, whose whole body slipped around the table loosing his dinner in the process and once again knocking Wojtek and his food. When all were tired and hungry there was a sense if humour failure, (but it was quite funny to watch).
I don't think we have mentioned the stars much yet. Between the downpours of rain the stars are quite breathtaking. Tom and Phil are doing quite a bit of celestial nav and know about the constellations, but to me they are just amazing to watch. We have seen shooting stars or what may be debris burning up on re-entry to the atmosphere, but anyway it gives something to watch for in the night sky.