The Eastern hemisphere!

36 1’2 S
004 34’E
Course 080
8 kts

The past few days, the wind has been less than forecasted, which at first was a bit frustrating, but for the past 12 hours there are no complaints. Currently going like a freight train under reefed main and mizzen, staysl and #2 jib, 8 or more knots towards the goal! Cumulus clouds converge and cover the sky, then speed past us and clear for some sunshine moments. Change is a constant out here, sometimes welcome and sometimes not. Already prior to Tristan, we have noticed the seas and swell becoming more friendly as we left the Southern ocean for the south Atlantic. We have about 2.5 meters of SSW swell pushing us along at the moment, which built up with the winds overnight. There’s an occasional salty splash over the aft deck catching those who are unawares, usually providing some entertainment for everyone else…

The wild sighting today was that of a Leatherback sea turtle! Although not known for their longevity, they are the largest of the sea turtles at over 3 meters in length; this one was impressively large. Karsten spotted it and thought at first it was the nose of a humpback whale surfacing! The only unfortunate thing about our speed is that turtles tend to disappear in the distance quickly… Blackbrowed, grey headed, and sooty albatrosses keep us company for longer, as well as some white chinned petrels and shearwaters.


A big milestone recently was our crossing into the Eastern hemisphere! Since our course is mostly East, we are munching away the longitude. Full moon was yesterday; moonrise and sunset occurring about the same time makes for very pleasant evenings lately. In the mornings, Venus rises shortly before the sun, providing more celestial delight for those of us fortunate enough to be on watch at that hour. Another special thing about these latitudes is the variety of constellations that are viewable throughout the night. Orion and Sirius set a few hours after the sun, followed by Cassiopea, while the Southern Cross and False Cross, along with Magellanic Clouds are up the whole evening. Scorpio makes an ascent high into the sky after Orion disappears (those two are old enemies according to myth, never in the sky at the same time), and in good conditions, the Milky Way is visible nearly from one side of the horizon to the other.

All is well on board,


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