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Day 20 to CT - Clock put forward 1hr

Easter Sunday 24th April 2011

N wind continues, 19-22kt, and 3m seas to knock us about. Overcast, grey sky.

Spoke to Andy, radio operator on Tristan da Cunha this morning, at 8am. (Moved my local clock time one hour forward to GMT-1 today, having sailed E over longitude 22.5W - so Tristan, Gough & "Nereida" are all in the same geographical time zone now.) Andy said oil-spill clean-up ship had just left for Cape Town, so things on Tristan will be getting back to some kind of normality now.

Rock-hopper penguins have suffered badly - half the island colony, most of whom got oil-covered, have died, despite all the cleaning and feeding efforts. the yellow-nosed albatross were fairly lucky, only one oil-damaged bird having been found. Some other birds have been lucky also - it all depends on their breeding season .... some species don't come in until September to begin their cycle ... so those are presently well out to sea and safe...

Seems that I'll not get to meet John on Gough Island to shake hands.... Even if weather is OK to stop for a short time, as I'm hoping, the whole island is surrounded by cliffs, 50ft in height at least, so shore access is difficult - and I've no dinghy anyway, of course... No wonder they and their supplies were brought in by helicopter off a ship which stopped in Quest Bay (where I'm hoping to stop). We spoke this morning, after the S.African M.M. Net, and it seems we'll have to be content with VHF radio contact! Both he, and Andy on Tristan, are keeping track of me by my AIS signal and via Internet sites - they have Internet on both islands via satellite connection to a Cape Town server.

Sun trying to peek out, seas still rough, sky overcast, wind still up. Just reduced genoa and stays'l some more in effort to lessen heeling and make life a touch more comfortable, although still plenty of waves knocking us about and washing the decks... Saw a few birds while in cockpit ... pair of Atlantic petrels, a Yellow-nosed albatross and 2-3 Gt shearwaters... Better some than none! Was nice to sit in the fresh air and watch them and the seas.... even if I did have to hold on tightly and wedge myself into position firmly, clothed in my foulies!

LAT: 40-10.45S LONG: 022-06.40W COURSE: 095T SPEED: 5.8 WIND_SPEED: 23 WIND_DIR: N SWELL_DIR: N SWELL_HT: 3.5M SWELL_PER: 4 CLOUDS: 98% BARO: 1019 TREND: -1
24hr DMG 138ml. Distance to Cape Town: 1960ml Distance to Gough Island: 557ml (ETA Gough Island: early Fri 29th April; ETA Cape Town: 9 May)

A beautiful sunset around 5.45pm - a long break in the clouds along the horizon enabled the sun to shine for a time as it got close to setting - lovely effect!
I decided to treat myself to an Easter egg - and found the Easter Bunny must have paid us a visit! On going to the last remaining egg box (from Ushuaia), instead of the two I was expecting to find, there were four! A lovely surprise ... I had one soft-boiled - far better than any chocolate one, just now! (I'll have some chocolate later, as well!) I also treated myself to a big ready-made meal - mushroom stroganoff and lamb hotpot - I mixed the two!

The seas seem a touch calmer - we're not getting thrown about as much. Surprising, since the wind has not dropped at all (still around 22kt) and direction is still N. Forecast is for slightly stronger winds overnight into Monday - maybe they got that wrong... fingers crossed!! Hopefully, some lighter winds tomorrow, before strong again Tuesday-Thursday... still from N.

Written by : Mike

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