Rigoletto and a wee dram for Robin Knox Johnston as he prepares for Cape Horn rounding 15/2/07

Log date Thursday 15 Feburary 2007
Position Lat 55 31S Long 094 01W
Miles To Norfolk, USA 7,828 nm
Distance In 24 Hours 214.8 nm
Average Speed In 24 Hours 8.95 knots

Sailing Saga Insurance hard all day with everything I could set with less than 1,000 miles to Cape Horn now! We are down close to the other boats again so getting similar conditions. We lost about 30 miles on Unai when he dived south two days ago and I was not receiving position reports for a day.

Without any detailed weather I have to keep close to him, and when I don’t know where he is he tends to slip through my fingers. When I get near him we seem to be able to gain. This lack of weather information is going to become more serious once we get to the variables and doldrums in the Atlantic where a few miles away the weather might be very different.

There seems to be a lot less bird life in this area, particularly compared with the area between Africa and Australia, perhaps because there are no islands here. There I often had 70 or more birds, various Albatross and Petrels, round the boat, now they are solitary.

I sat in the cockpit last night having a wee dram and listening to a disc of Rigoletto kindly given to me by the team in Fremantle. Maybe the birds are frightened away by my accompaniment or they don’t like Verdi. The dram is purely medicinal. They interviewed 20 people who had reached the age of 100 years and asked them to what they attributed their longevity and 16 answered it was due to having a dram each evening. I am not going to argue with statistics of 80%!

“I became adventurous with my cooking and produced a stir fry, well from a packet. I fried up some tinned ham and then tipped in the stir fry mix.

It seemed a bit liquid and only later did I read the instructions and discover it was meant to be drained first – well that’s a man thing, not reading instructions! The result was a bit of a mushy stir fry but the next one will be better.

Down to a couple of miles of Unai, I’d like to overtake him before Cape Horn if I can.