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Fri 13Nov09 - Day 35 Saw an albatross this morning!!

Friday 13th November, 2009 - Day 35 Saw a lovely albatross this morning!!

- It circled around a few times - and then made off as I was going to get my camera for a photoshoot!!

I was clearly in the shipping lane up from the Cape of Good Hope last night - talked to two ships coming close.. one only briefly, to confirm they'd seen me (had me on radar, they assured me)and the other, after a really bad radio connection initially, kept coming back to me for a chat, after confirming they were keeping clear of me. A Croatian, who was thrilled to think I knew Dubrovnik and Split, who even sent me a message via DSC saying "Good luck, :)" !!

I'm sitting here this evening in my 'foulies', at the ready... expecting a major Low to pass through sometime before the morning... keeping an eye on barometer!! I hate the suspense!! Don't expect to get much rest tonight... Raining now but very little wind - 'calm before the storm...'?? Had one big 'blow' come through this morning - all action, reefing down in a hurry!! And then the wind died completely... I had to gybe and we drifted around in a complete circle before the wind filled in from the NE (it had been coming from the SW!)(Later tonight:That has just happened again ..twice!!! Wind 'switched' direction completely.. I'm wet and the boat is well-washed down!) And there'll be lots more of this... I don't expect to be in Cape area until end of month... 2200mls and 2-3 wks away... with deep depressions coming through regularly! (Rumbling of thunder in the distance, I'm hearing now...)

I'm still having a major problem with the gooseneck... After I thought I'd fixed it from coming apart yesterday (JUST spotted in time!)I checked on it today while I was reefing - & found it was about to repeat itself... The split pin I'd put back to hold the clevis pin in place through the fitting was out of position and about to drop out again!! The whole arrangement is clearly just not sturdy enough... really flimsy, in fact. Means I'm seriously having to consider whether to pull in to Cape Town to get it fixed properly before continuing on.... Can't risk boom coming away from mast anywhere, let alone the Southern Ocean, thousands of miles from nearest land! What a pain!!

Must get some dinner organized before the light goes - might be chili con carne tonight... tin of chili beans, tin of nicely-cooked mince, extra tomato and spice - and there you go - VERY quick...and tasty!!

DMG to noon today: 105M (2120 M to Cape of Good Hope)

Written by : Mike

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