Wow what a huge day of mile stones and celebrations it has been.
The winds last night maintained their 20 knots from the N giving me some pleasant sailing conditions. I had 2 reefs in the main sail and the No2 Jib furled just a bit. Still suffering from my nasty headache, I was trying to get an early night unfortunately my mind had other ideas. I was too excited to sleep as I knew I was nearing the International Date Line. A rather large mile stone of my trip. Finally, at 2am, I fell into a restless sleep only to wake at 5am just ahead of my date line crossing and with the blue tinge of pre-dawn. I woke up to celebrate this occasion.
Groggy and still half a sleep, but bubbling with excitement, I watched the sun crest over the horizon minutes before I travelled across the imagery line that is the International Date Line. The International Date line is where the lines of Longitude reach their peak at 180 degrees and transit from East to West. It is situation on the opposite side of the world from the Meridian Line where UTC is founded. For me it means that I lose an entire day and my local time goes from Saturday UTC +13 back to Friday UTC -11 Hrs. So, there will be some confusion from now on as it is the weekend for all of you but mine doesn't start until tomorrow... On the B and G Zeus I use electronic charts supplied by Cairns Charts and Maps and the International Date Line shows up as I definitive blue line from the North to the South.
In times like these we superstitious sailors like to honour Neptune and thank him for granting me a safe passage across his realm. I would normally have a nip of rum or a glass of champagne however in the chaos of leaving, alcohol completely slipped my mind. So, in lew of some rum, I have a small stash of ginger beers on board. I decided the occasion called for a brew.
So as the sun rise increased its wondrous display of colours I cracked my ginger beer and said my thanks to Neptune. When we toast to Neptune it is also very important to share some of your beverage with him. So I had a toast and poured the rest in the sea asking for further safe passage as I continue in to the next challenges of the trip.
Officially I crossed the Date line at 16:25:39 UTC or local time of 5:25:39. This was also great for another reason... I crossed the Date Line 1 day, 48 min and 38 seconds ahead of Fedor's time when he was racing in the Antarctica Cup Ocean Race. It’s a small lead but a lead just the same.
Today also marked my 20th day at sea... I still haven’t seen another vessel, person or land in all that time. I feel that both myself and my yacht Climate Action Now are doing great. My headache has passed and with some more sleep tonight I will be once again bouncing around the boat. Climate Action Now has sustained very little wear so far however I am still just in the beginning stages of this trip and there is a long way to go.
The next milestone is for me the largest one. I will be rounding the infamous Cape Horn, also known as the Mount Everest of sailing challenges. It will be a reality of mine in approximately 20 days.
The forecast for tonight is for the winds to drop out almost completely. This will leave me drifting around in 5 knots of wind again, so at sunset I decided in the 12 knots of wind I was sailing in to shake out to the 1st reef. Half way though doing this I glance up at the main sail only to notice that once again my troublesome batten No2 is sticking out of is Batten pocket.... Ahh. This means that I am unable to put up more sail until I have had the chance to repair the batten pocket. Yes, this is the exact same batten that I repaired only a week or so ago. Guess my sewing skills are a little lacking... Hopefully in the lighter airs tomorrow morning I will be able to drop the main sail completely and repair this again. We shall see what tomorrow brings.
Once last thing, with my headache yesterday my wonderful mum thought that she would send me a little pick me up. Mum emailed me a selection of the comments from the blogs and I just wanted to say a big thanks to her and all of you for engaging with the blogs. Your comments put a smile on my dial. As most of them were centred around me eating more I will try harder to fatten up out here. Thanks again everyone for the ongoing support and encouragement.