Hello from my office!
We are nearing the end of our night watch since Ascension - 8 to 2 instead of 2 to 8 - and only now dare I enter the Radioroom for longer than a few minutes without chancing hyper-thermia or death by evaporation.
You dont need a thermometer to know: We are in the tropics.
The trade winds are living up to their reputation, blowing steadily from the East Southeast, sometimes more East, sometimes more South.
On the sloop deck laundry is billowing in the breeze.
The voyage crew are experts at steering 310 and 315.
We could have set off in Cape Town with only those numbers on the compass and not even noticed.
Occasionally we brace a tiny bit more square or back to one point starboard tack.
I can't recall when we last moved the Stunsails.
They are as much part of the scenery now as the skysails and masts we only rigged up in St Helena.
Luckily we had one night of very indecisive winds on approaching Ascension: We got to check out all the other numbers on the compass during one six hour night watch.
They do exist. We also managed to test the neglected lines during some advanced square rig manouevering in same night watch.
That tiny circle you can see on our track meant 6 hours straight of adjusting course and sails - before being able to return to our familiar 315; with all sails on the other side.
On the helm now (steering 315, as usual) I overhear chatter such as "With this speed, we will be there in two days already" I said 9a.m., so I'm trying to speed up" - voyage crew discussing the big question:
When are we going to cross the equator. And much is at stake: the list of predictions, in date and time UTC, accurate to the second, is growing.
We even have received first international guesses from landlubbers as well.
Feel free to join the gamble and be in to win the honor of the best line-crossing-forecaster!
We have a little less than 300 miles to go till we leave the Southern hemisphere behind.
300 Miles for the Pollywogs (and dog) amongst us to treasure their current haircuts and start envisioning various side effects of the upcoming nautical baptism.
Much whispering and plotting is already going on, myths and rumors are spreading beautifully.
No matter if it's the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of June, 9 a.m. or p.m. - the time of Neptune's court will come.
As a shellback, I can lean back and relax.
We might need to go to 320.
On that note, greetings from 03 06.4 S 02 22.2 W