Monday November 13th, 2000

LocationJust south of East Cape
Course190 degrees true
WindSoutherly, 10 to 15 knots

I am starting to write this at 0600 - have been on watch since 0300 - pleasant but winds still light from behind. We are waiting on a change to the SW due sometime around midday - with the Chatham Islands directly in our path. Do you know of any good pubs there?

Motor sailing with both mainsail and foresail set - headsail was up most of the night as was speed, but down a little this morning.

Results of scrabble yesterday… I don’t want to gloat…

Sean fitted the new electrical diode to the main engine battery charging system yesterday (we went into Gisborne to pick up a spare driven down from Auckland) and all seems fine - probably a manufacturing fault. We stopped to do this in almost zero wind, and were immediately surrounded by albatross and a few petrels. The albatross landed next to us and paddled right up alongside to be fed pieces of fat and ham. This morning there are Chatham Islands albatross, Black Browed albatross, a Royal or Wanderer (not sure which) and a couple of Bullers albatross. Also some petrels and the first Cape Pigeon with it’s distinctive brown and white wing markings.

Time for tea - will continue later…

0945: Well, the wind and rain and drop in temperature arrived at 0900 - at the end of the Rabbit’s watch - 25 plus knot southerlies and a good soaking. We watched the rain and wind march across the sea at us while we sat with almost no breeze at all, banging and crashing around in a big slop. We are now under full sail heading due east to pass north of the Chathams - that have been a bit like a magnet for the past 24 hours.

The Musto wet weather gear is great - 10 out of 10, tell Ross.

But we are going to have to tie the chairs in the communications room to the desk next to each computer otherwise it will be “dodgems” through the southern ocean. We are expecting 25 knot sou’westers to fill in during the day with mod to rough seas. At present we are rolling along at a good 10 knots of boat speed.