Day 8

Pearl of Persia
Andrew Lock
Tue 21 Jan 2014 13:37
Lat 21:52.2S Long 00:01.1W
At 07:25 this morning we crossed the Greenwich Meridian, moved into the
'western' hemisphere and I suppose technically achieved a circumnavigation.
The meridian line of degrees... passes down through western
France, the Pyrenees, Algeria, Ghana and eventually through Pearl of Persia
in the middle of the South Atlantic. The weather reminds us of what
Greenwich are probably currently enjoying, leaden grey skies, but gradually
the temperature is warming up.
The day before leaving Cape Town I managed to crick my back so have felt
pretty uncomfortable for the past week. Stretching and exercises don't seem
to have helped so I'm becoming tired and frustrated at feeling like an
invalid. Fortunately Sussanne and Tom have been great at sail changes,
getting the big chute down and tied up and moving the spinnaker pole around
to accommodate the shifting winds. The wind has generally been behind us
since we left and we have made a rather zig zag track through the water as
we've attempted to keep the sails filled.
When there is no challenging weather or problems to deal with the daily
routine is little changed. I come on watch at 0600 relieving Tom who has
been on watch since 0200. It's still dark and I sit in the cockpit with a
cup of tea, watching the first glow of light in the east. Sussanne appears
around 0800, we have breakfast together and then I look over the boat to see
if anything has developed overnight. We have been running with the cruising
chute for the last week during the day, so we prepare that and then hoist
it, usually enjoying a bit of a speed increase, and then it's reading,
navigating, doing odd jobs, thinking about meals and taking a rest before
the evening sail change again. In fact there is a wonderful aroma of baking
coming from the galley as I write. I think its a banana loaf that Sussanne
has just taken out of the oven. As the winds have been so consistent there
hasn't been a need to constantly trim the sails. And the autohelm, takes the
strain of constantly having to steer the boat. Twice a day we try and make
contact with some of the other boats on the short wave radio. We've covered
1200 miles since Cape Town, and 2500 to go to Salvador