MY BIGGEST problem today was a loud 'pop' as we crossed the Equator.
With a 15 knot cooling wind, we power reached accross the imagenery line at over 13 knots - 'Champagne Sailing' you might say.- however, in my enthusuiasm, the cork popped clear of the Kilcullen,, thus complicating matters in my 'Frist World' problem of the day.
The master strategy was to place a note in the bottle with a request for safe passage from King Neptune. There would also be a, 50 euro note - as a sort of encouragement to whoever finds the bottle to make contact - and another request to King Neptune for a safe voyage, through life, for Feile Roisin, my new grand daughter. At 12 pounds plus, she arrived, with considerable aplomp, late into the World over the weekend.
Regardless, we have enough boat building materials on board to find a way to seal the bottle - and sure who knows, in years to come, the bottle will show up somewhere....
On crossing the equator, I immediately convened a meeting of the South Atlantic Residents Associaitoin.
With just one member, it was not a big problem. However in true Brendan Behan tradition, the first item on the agenda of the Association was 'The split' and whether a North Atlantic Residence Asssoication member, no longer in residence, would be accpetable in the south.
IT was series of conversations between himself, myself and the other self, if you follow the drift - Such is the way that my mind entertains itself, ALONE. All this mental exercise goes on between the hard physical work of taking reefs in, shaking them out and sail changes - together with everything necessary to keep this 60 footer moving 24 hours a day.
Anyway, this adventure is also a geography class. Early in the morning we will be leaving the islands of Ferninda De Naronha to Starboard, some 500 miles off the Braxil coast.
It is here that fellow competitor, Frenchman Bernard de Broc is moored. Sadly, his hull is damaged and he decided not to risk the Southern Ocean and withdraw. Bernard was much talked about in France during a pevious race. That was when his tongue somehow got cut and, helped by a doctor on the phone, at sea he managed to sew it back together again!!!
Looking deeper, the islands are a UNESCO listed world nature reserve. You must get special permission to go there. From pictures, the secenary and beaches are amazing. There is an abundance of turtles and sea life and an ideal climate - definitely a place for the bucket list for the weekend or even a year? perhaps do a Robinson Cruisoe on it?..
It's black on deck. No moon. Now, we head towards the North West Coast of Brazil and veer south - each day - a little cooler than the last.
You might say that via Brazil is a roundabout way to get to South Africa - the Cape of Good Hope being the next 'turning mark' - however by gradully curving around, the plan, would be to navigate around the South Atlantic high - and dive south first to the Southern Ocean as soon as possible - to pick up the prevailing Westerlies in the Roaring Forties, Howling Fifties and for me porridge for breakfast.