Tuesday, 8 February 2011
0730 8 Feb 30 30N 10W
We gybed onto the long starboard up to the Doldrums at midnight and are now heading north at good speed. Now at 30 30S, so into the latitude of southern Brasil, northern South Africa, southern Australia and well north of all of New Zealand..
Sailing with the medium gennaker, staysail and full main. Saw the first flying fish yesterday so the albatrosses are far behind now, wheeling around the Southern Ocean without us.
Yesterday, when not steering, I had an educational time with my iphone, and the brilliant ‘Star Walk’ application, learning the Southern stars properly. The Southern cross I knew already, embedded in the milky way, but not alpha and beta centauri, the triangle australis, and I recognized Saturn for the first time ever. So more study tomorrow, and the rest of the crew are getting keen on the stars and planets too. Although as Yvon said, you can’t see the Southern Cross from his home in Switzerland, so he’s waiting till in the Nothern Hemisphere to learn the stars!
I think from doing celestial navigation pre GPS I became interested in finding stars, just so that you can calculate your own position, but now in this age of the instant positioning its interesting to find more about the stars than just where to find them…
The days here are flashing by, watch by watch. The equator is coming up rapidly and after that there is some windy upwind in the NE tradewinds. So enjoying this downwind sleighride we are having now. Very low stress as we are still have our speed limits in force to preserve the daggerboard..
All the best from the South Atlantic!