Lat: 48 20.14′ S
Long: 45 12.34′ W
Inst Speed: 16.2
Wind Dir: 278
Wind Speed: 21.5000
Distance last 24hr: 359.26
Distance to finish: 7986.6

Email from the boat to shore: 

From: OmanTri
To: update
Subject: Friday morning
Date: 20/02/2009 01:40:51

Well it’s a different night outside to last night, from a sky full of stars
last night to a dense damp fog all around us, the fog makes everything wet,
and the wind across the deck makes anything wet, cold, so it feels damp and
cold, and only the best hot choc can keep it from seaping through the layers
and chillng the bones.

The wind is back with us at 20 kts, from the NW and we are going along well,
250nm NE of the Falkland Islands. It’s bumby to type and be in the bunk, and
the chart table requires being wedged between the seat, the foot rest, and
the foam covered cabin roof above. With every now and again a creak and
groan from the deck next to the chart table from easing sheets.

The light airs that we predicted yesterday arrived at dawn, and for a few
mins there was zero wind, and we had an uncomfortable confused but oily sea
that gave a wobble to the boat that made it hard to stand without holding
something – unusual when the boat is practically stopped…during one such
wobble I was tending to George, when it caused me to sit down ( not unusual
and sitting position is most secure! ) rather than sitting as i ususally do
on the aft edge of the generator cover , i landed on the corner where the
throttle control cleat is – i didn’t notice it much at the time but a little
later i could feel it right on the bottom of my spine…. it’s not painful,
i just know it’s there and I can imagine a small bruise, now 14 hours later
I can feel it but only occassionally… thankfully – it could have been
worse, just goes to show that it’s the mundane things that cause the
accidents as well as the dangerous stuff.

So in the light airs we made the change to the Code Zero, and got going
again – not for nothing is this sail nicknamed the windseeker – we managed a
respectable 6 kts of boatspeed, in the very light airs, before the wind
filled in properly. and we’ve had it from all directions – SE,NE,SW,NW, and
each time we have reacted with a course and sail change to accomodate our
need to keep pushing NE. For quite some time we were heading N on Stbd
tack towards the new wind, and an hour after Loik and I were discussing when
the shift would come, and what we’d do, the shift arrived sails changed
again, ( and a tack to port) and we are charging along in the direction we
want to go… can’t be bad!

The outlook is still quite unpredictable with positions of the major weather
systems changing with every model update ( every 6 hours for one, every 12
hours for the other). So we just need to make progress to the NE when we
can, and when we can’t we are trying to choose between N and E, north being
prefered at the moment as it takes us away from the risk of ice, and we are
getting there – we have broken North of 50S so are definately going in the
right direction.

It’s 700nm since rounding Cape Horn, and life has settled into the South
Atlantic routine, which is much the same as the pacific one, and indian
ocean one before it. We have a couple of days now of just sailing the boat
before the idle chatter develops again about when we’ll be south of Good
Hope…. and that will occupie 90% of brain activity up to the point that
it’s fairly obvious!! But it’s great to be well into the atlantic leg even
if the usual weather systems are not quite in their correct place at the

Weather Router’s advice: 

From: Commanders’ Weather
To: Musandam
Subject: weather Fri 2-20
Date: 20/02/2009 12:58:19

To: Charles Darbyshire and the crew of

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 48 42s/ 47 26w at 1100utc Fri Feb 20, 2009

Prepared: 1230utc Fri, Feb 20, 2009

SummaryÖ Head generally NE as fast as possible next few days to avoid center
of high

Monday and minimize impact of approaching Gale Tue/Wed

1) Low pressure near 52s/45w now is headed ESE quickly.

2) There will be a strengthening frontal boundary extending N-NW of this low
next few days.

3) You will be close to this boundary but probably just to the W of it so
your winds will tend to be mainly


a) If you get E of the front your winds will go
more solidly into the NW

b) There will be a squally shower threat next
-36 hours.

4) Head ENE as best you can next 24 hours.

5) Toward and after 18 utc Sat expect your winds to increase and still could
get to 30-40 kts around 00

utc Sun for a short time as the front strengthens to your E.

6) But high pressure following the front will track E and your winds should
diminish significantly on


7) Expect this high to be near 42s/44w 12 utc Sunday tracking a little S of
E to 44s/30w by 00 utc Mon.

8) As the high gets closer your winds will diminish to < 10 kts and likely
back into the S then SE-E by 12

utc Mon.

9) Expect the center of the high to be just south of you Monday.

10) If so your winds back into the NE Monday then N Monday night.

11) Then attention turns to fast moving gale which on 6 utc GFS guidance is
near 45s/27w at 12 utc


a) This moves to 51s/12w by 12 utc Wed.

12) The good news is that this gale is a little further away from your
expected positions early next week.

13) The bad news is that it will still be difficult to avoid a rough period
of 30-40 kt winds from the NNW

along with seas building to 10-15 ft.

14) This storm is still several days away but it would appear the further NE
you can get by Tue/Wed the


RoutingÖ Need to get north of ice gate but also need to avoid center of the
high on Monday and

Impact of possible gale next week.

Think the further NE you can get the further away from the
low you will be Tue/Wed to

minimize winds and seas.

Would like see you up to 40s and E of 20w by Tuesday

Some estimated positions below

Wind directions are TRUE, wind speed in kts, and time is UTC

Fri, Feb 20

18: 250-270/15-22

WeatherÖCloudy to partly cloudy

Seas 5-8 ft ñ mainly a W swell

Sat, Feb 21 ñ strengthening frontal boundary to your E

00: 230-250/ 12-17

06: 250-270/ 10-15

12: 270-290/ 12-17 nr 47s/39w

18: 270-290/ 18-25 ñ much stronger to NE east of the front

WeatherÖPartly cloudy to cloudy with squally showers possible especially to
the E

Seas 5-8 ft

Sun, Feb 22

00: 240-260/30-40

06: 200-220/25-35

12: 180-200/22-30 nr 44s/31w

18: 170-190/15-20

WeatherÖSqually showers end then cloudy to partly cloudy

Seas 10-15 ft SW swell

Mon, Feb 23 – high pressure just to your S

00: 160-180/ 10-15

06: 120-140/ 5-10

12: 060-080/ 5-10 nr 41s/ 24w

18: 020-040/ 8-12

WeatherÖ.Cloudy to partly cloudy

Seas subside to 5-8 ft SW swell

Tue, Feb 24 ñ winds stronger to the W and lighter to the E

00: 350-010/ 12-17

06: 350-010/ 18-25

12: 350-010/ 25-35 nr 40s/18w

18: 340-360/ 30-40

WeatherÖCloudy with squally showers developing

Seas increasing to 10-15 ft ñ higher to SW

Wed, Feb 25 ñ winds begin to diminish as low pulls away.

00: 340-360/ 30-40

12: 320-340/ 25-35 nr 40s/10w

WeatherÖConsiderable cloudiness still risk squally showers

Seas 10-15 ft higher to SW

Best regards, Tom Mattus

Commanders Weather Corp.
Tel: 603-882-6789

A selection of pictures from today: