Day 4 - Half Way Around! - 25 27.31S 179 30.29E

Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 3 Nov 2010 04:23
Crossed the 180 degree meridian (line of longitude) at 01.00 this morning (3rd November), so have sailed exactly half way around the world! Having crossed 180 degrees means several things:- we are now the furthest we can be from the UK; we are on the same great circle as London, so if we could follow it through either pole we would get back to Greenwich; from now on our longitude position is east and not west, and will be decreasing as the distance back to the Greenwich meridian reduces.

Noon-to-noon run today was 144.7 miles. Not as good as yesterday, but not bad. The wind has been around 15 to 20kts from the south east or east south east and we have been reasonably hard on the wind most of time. The sea swell is around 6ft, so it's not too bad and we've been making around 6 - 6.5kts speed over the ground. Our actual speed through the water, the speed the boat has been going, has been 7 to 8kts a lot of the time, but we have a counter-current of well over a knot which is slowing us down, which is a bit disappointing. The skies have been overcast throughout the 24 hours with a lot of rain falling overnight and it continues to get colder! Having bashed into the big seas and wind over the weekend and taken lots of water over the bows, the boat is caked in a thick layer of salt, so while the rain isn't nice, it is getting rid of some of this. While we would love to be back in the warmth of the tropics, the 1st November was the official start to this year's cyclone season, so it's good that we are out of the tropics and heading for New Zealand which is outside the cyclone belt. We've sailed 571 miles and have 610 miles to go. With the weather forecasts we are downloading we are heading direct to NZ, which is shorter than following the more traditional course of heading west and then south. We hope the forecast is accurate - could be a bumpy ride if not!

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