19 OCTOBER 2011
LAT 45 06.4S
LONG 077 05.0E
ETA 0600 29 Oct 11
WIND 290/20 SEA 4 SWELL 270@3 CLOUD 8/8 CLUMULUS OCC DRIZZLE, Baro 1008
A high pressure system is blocking our path to Geraldton making navigation
decisions very important in the final parts of Race 4. While it would be
fantastic to sail north around the western edge of the high, there is a
high pressure ridge blocking the way there too. It seems we are surrounded
by the weather and have no choice but to skirt around enemy lines hoping
for a breakthrough in the coming days. Every morning we wait with fingers
crossed as the latest weather information is sent to us hoping that the
High has moved on or reformed into a more predictable system.
For now the winds and seas are abating and the temperatures has soured to
13 degrees C giving crew some relief from the battering we have received
over the last few days. Gold coast Australia has been good to us, as she
has received more of a pounding over the last few days than in the first
three races put together and is looking forward to some love and
maintenance on her arrival in Geraldton.
“When face the elements is, to be sure, no light matter when the sea is in
its grandest mood. You must know the sea, and know that you know it, and
forget that it was made to be sailed over.” Joshua Slocum
This morning I saw the first signs of approaching Australian waters with
the first mutton birds flying around the boat on their migration south.
In summer time in the areas of Southern Australia flocks of these birds
can almost make the sky black as they fly overhead, but this morning I
only saw one or two who have decided to make the trip early or who have
been blown off their original course.
Despite the bitter cold and frustrating conditions, All is well on
Gold coast, the crew are laughing and smiling, and we are sailing the
southern ocean. What could be a better way to spend a day. BT