Five Icebergs Not So Far Away

While I slept through out today, the winds were jumping between 15-20 knots.  Just before I went to bed I finally shook out the main sail to the first reefing point and unfurled a bit more of the no 2 jib.  With the steady winds, I was making great time and sailed an average speed of 10.5 knots. Occasionally the winds would gust up to 25 or even 30 knots but these were short lived and far between.  I didn’t manage to get to sleep until well after 10am so when I awoke it was already dark and the winds were dropping off slightly.

By 10pm the winds had eased to 10knots and I began to think about shaking out the reef to the full main sail but I was being cautious because of those extra gusts.  When I went on deck to get a feel for the weather I couldn’t see anything as it was a bleak and black night.  I decided to wait an hour and watch the winds closely. 

A while later I went back on deck and it was like I was greeting another day.  There was a smattering of stars. The clouds that were previously thick and heavy were now wispy and thin.  There was still no moon but I did spy the Southern Cross star constellation.  With this welcome change in the weather I shook out the main to its full height and changed over the jibs.  I now had the No 1 head sail out.  The conditions are forecast to continue to be light for tomorrow until I get a new breeze filling in from the SSE.  While I was on deck I also gybed to sail a SE course to put a little more room between me and the boarder before the SE winds fill in tomorrow and I sail NE.

Aside from the tending of the sails I have not done all that much today. I have been feeling a little tired.  I took the opportunity to catch up on some computer work and enjoyed a little R and R with a book and daydreamed about my arrival.  I know that I still have quite a way to sail but I also feel that the next 4 weeks are going to fly past and before I know it I will be making landfall in Australia again. While a part of me is quite happy to just keep sailing, another part of me will be very happy to be home and amongst friends.

I have moved time zones again and I am now on UTC time as I approach the meridian line.  I am now less than 300nm from crossing it and my longitude will change back from west to east. This is the line of zero longitude and is the exact opposite part of the world from the date line.  Once I pass this line it is simply a small sail to pass Africa and a then a short hope across the Indian Ocean and Albany here I come.

 I think you can tell that I am starting to count the days that I have left at sea...  I have now been gone for 65 days. In that time I still haven’t seen a single ship, apart from the one I saw 10nm off Albany as I left Australian waters and that was on day one.  I may have spent a bit more time looking at it had I realised it was going to be the last I would see for such a longtime...

I will also soon be past the highest iceberg risk.  I know that I talked about Iceberg Ally as the biggest risk, well that was before we received reports from C-Core letting us know that right now there are icebergs at the following positions.

49.7036S |13.512895W
49.38306S |6.674358W
50.11918S |5.487312W
49.968698S |4.593041W
49.99714S |4.583291W

As you can see they are little over 200nm away and this was last week’s report.  I will receive a new update from C-Core tomorrow and I will look forward to the chance to find out where they may have drifted too.  I believe that they all sit much further south once I have past 0 W/ 0E so I will be taking care and having all my alarms set for the next 2 days.  One of the best alarms that I have found is the sea temperature alarm.  If I am approaching ice then it will likely mean that I am sailing into colder waters so this really is the most efficient way of alerting me to danger.

Now that I have scared you all with my talk of ice, I am going to get to bed and dream of long hot showers...  It has almost been 4 weeks since I have had the chance to wash my hair and body. Baby wipes can only do so much.  My hair is becoming a matted mess that is so oily that it is cold to touch. There is a reason that I wear beanies all the time and it is not just because of the cold... 
And with that friendly thought good night.