16.12.06 – Post Chathams

As expected, the wind increased this afternoon so it’ll be back to lurching and crashing tonight. At least the knickers are clean, the colon metamucilated and the toilet working.

We are romping along in 43S. Bar rising. Not quite so cold, but a grey and white landscape with 20 kt S breeze – full main and yankee giving comfortable 7’s. Life here is pared down to the barest of essentials and I have difficulty imagining the comings and goings of all back in Sydney.

A lovely chat with GoodasGold Mary at Bluff Fishermen’s Radio. Her delightful old self, she sends her warm wishes to the Macquarie Island crew. I’ll check in with her and also Russell Maritime Radio as long as we can. They’re each of them pleasant relief from David (and, I am sure, from me for him).

We’ve crossed the dateline and it’ll be Friday again. I don’t feel I’ve gained a day. Rather, lost a decade. Now I’ll report our position as UTC (Greenwich time). Of course from then ours will be the day before theirs.

Having crossed the dateline we were promptly becalmed for 12 hours. After a calm sunny morning a light northerly sprang up and our big reaching spinnaker glowed pregnant. On a cold, calm sea and chatting the way blokes do. Ritualistically and in middle distance, as Inge Glendinnen says. 

Dave talks but I’m not paying attention. I’m comparing and contrasting desert and ocean solitudes. The desert reassuring, caressing, timeless and warm. Here constant change and uncertainty disallow true peace of mind. I feel like Chris did as a child at home – alert, watchful, constantly on guard.

We’re well into the Southern Ocean, with good winds and a gentler pace. Still cold as buggery (gloves and beanie even in the cabin). But the motion is calmer and we’re able to cook and read. A mere 4,343 miles to Valdivia. God, what madness!

Alex Hutley’s pudding having got through NZ quarantine after just the smallest sprayover with dieldrin we are so looking forward to opening it with Santa.

PR 1400h NZDST: 4329S, 17215W 

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