Friday, November 03, 2006

Albatross watching

It was bitterly cold last night and the morning didn't promise much of a reprieve with a grey overcast sky. We were so cold we thought we'd try the diesel cabin heater which has remained idle since we left the UK. After some time we received some warm but burnt-smelling air and hurriedly switched it off again having decided that the burning smell probably wasn't a feature. The result was we put on a few more layers and added "cabin heater" to the list of boat jobs.

During the day the sky gradually cleared and the bitterly cold wind lost its edge; perhaps we're acclimatising. We're spending more time out of the cabin and saw our first albatross.
It was some distance in front of us, but had an unmistakably huge wing span and effortless flight. We're hoping for some closer encounters tomorrow with this magnificant bird.

As the skies cleared so the wind dropped, until by late afternoon we were making less than 5 knots in light winds. Fortunately there isn't much swell so the little wind there is remains in the sails. However the initial conservative estimate I gave to the NZ maritime authorities yesterday started to look optimistic so we called the authorities again with a revised (later) estimate and hope we don't keep the customs and quarantine authorities waiting on the dock for us on Sunday morning.

It's currently a calm, clear, bright moon-light night, we're making between 4 and 5 knots. It's so peaceful out here that it's difficult to imagine the same stretch of ocean as a rough and wild place that frequently causes yachts hove-to for hours while waiting for gales to pass by.

Position at 22:50 (UTC +13): S32° 39' E175° 41'
Distance to go: 158

1 comment:

Paul said...

Good luck with the albatross watching. If any readers would like to learn more about these magnificent birds do take a look at