17.12.06 – Becalmed

We were becalmed all last night in the Southern Ocean. Seems incredible! It was not peaceful at all, because the sloppy seas had us lurching about like a WC Fields drunk. Extremely frustrating, the absence of progress. Only thing worse is when the cause is gale force headwinds.

Today, it is sunny, almost warm. A light breeze has begun ruffling the water and the big spinnaker is pulling us along at 3 mph. The laundry’s drying. David steered while I unblocked the toilet (a crap-encased camomile teabag the culprit). Then an all-over wash, strong coffee, Jenny’s essays to read, and a play with the new radio transmitter.

Marine navigation broadcasts are always fascinating – weather reports aside, they warn of icebergs, large areas of floating pumice following seismic activity near Tonga, degraded radio propogation from ionispheric disturbance, a large object reported floating in position etc etc. It is a close, closed and private world for mariners, sailors and fishermen.

While the computer copied some movies to a CD, I took a picture of the sun shining. A unique shot. Then I cut up the lambs given us by those wonderful Chatham fishermen, for a stew. Spuds, tomato paste, capsicum, garlic, chicken stock, spices galore.

Cook was here in 1779 or so. He left no trace that I can see. Mozart was then 23, writing some of his finest piano concerti. What do I make of that? I wonder if they knew about one another. 

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