Lat: 42 00.11′ S
Long: 169 48.45′ E
Inst Speed: 16.6
Wind Dir: 243
Wind Speed: 22.2000
Distance last 24hr: 425.60
Distance to finish: 13868.86
the view from up here is exceptional
a rig check in calmer waters
rig check

Email from the boat to shore: 

From: OmanTri
To: update
Subject: Sun is out – wind has dropped – heading for the beach
Date: 02/02/2009 03:16:43

Our manic push to be ahead of the high pressure is over, now that the wind
have started to ease – now down to 18kts from a peak of nearly 30. We’ve
done what we can to stay ahead, but there was always going to be a time
where the winds lightened. There has also been a shift that means we are
sailing almost due east again – an option would be to gybe ( and we will in
a few hours) – but in these wind and with the waves we have we’d be heading
right into where the High pressure will end up. Our only option is to head
east, where we hope to find some thermal beezes for the last 110nm to Cape
Farewell. We have looked at current conditions for both CF and further south
down the coast and they have seen a signifcant drop in wind speed too, the
obs show light and variable conditions. Just how close we come into the
shore depends on how much wind we think we can get there. We are all rather
hoping to be able to see the coastline, however the sun is well over the
yard arm here, and it’ll be dark in 5 hours – so it’s going to be close if
we see land before dusk, and our gybe north bound again. I say gybe – but
the wind is due to be very variable in direction so it could just as well be
a tack to the north. We just have to see.

It’s good to be on deck again in just light thermals, give a chance to give
them an airing before we head back into the south which will be wednesday.

It’s easy sat at the chart table to keep an eye on the time and keep the
body moving along at GMT, but when you look outside and it’s dark when it
should be light and light when it should be dark it soon gets confused.
Writing these updates was usually a night time job, now it’s mid afternoon
locally, and soon it’ll be time for a bit of breakfast! then the ‘ morning
call ‘ back to the media team in Muscat – where they will want to know
what’s been happening overnight, which is confusing as that was a long time
a go for us! The first 12 hours of a new GMT day seem to be the busiest –
update to write around 3am, call to Muscat 6am, collect new weather files
8-9am, take a few pictures, catch up on email, compress and send some
video, and it’s way past noon already! then it’s time to sleep a bit, but
in all of this there is the food to get out for each day, the generator to
run ( approx 45 mins 3 times per day – less if the wind generator has been
going fast – for which we need to be reaching or beating upwind). obviously
gotta eat breakfast and lunch. The 2nd 12hrs are better, 2pm weather
update from Commanders Weather – read understand and update electronic
charts with their recommendations, then longer sleep, before collecting
weather again at 8-9pm. Whilst this routine goes bythe guys on deck are
making sail changes, and taking in or taking out reefs in the mainsail, for
which I tend always to be on the grinder.

We are looking forward to New Zealand – getting that behind us will be a big
step – though I am ready for the anti climax – although this is a fairly
major milestone for the RTW attempt, it’s not the 1/2 way point, and there
is still a really long way to go – though the south pacific to Cape Horn,
across the South Atlantic and up the Indian Ocean. We’ll reset our sights
on the 1/2 way point, then CH and take each little bit as it comes.Little
by Little we’re getting there.

Weather Router’s advice: 

From: Commanders’ Weather
To: Musandam
Subject: weather 1330 utc Mon 2-2
Date: 02/02/2009 13:36:37

To: Charles Darbyshire and the crew of

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 41 10s/171 13e at 1130utc Mon, Feb 2

Prepared: 1300utc Mon, Feb 2, 2009

SummaryÖNext few days will be tricky entering and exiting the Cook Straits.

Not many observations. We do have Cape Farwell Spit which was NNW at 6 kts
at 1am Tue.

This may become variable near
daybreak before resuming NNW late am

Wellington was moderate southerly
Monday at 15-20 kts but is light and

variable now and should transition
into NW wind when you get there later

Tuesday night.

1) High pressure now near 41s/168 30e will edge closer to you next 6-12

2) Expect your winds will diminish and could become light and variable
around daybreak.

3) Try to stay offshore 15-20+ miles thru 8am then get closer to the beaches
for the thermal

breeze developing late morning toward noon.

a) Winds near shore < 20 miles could
be lt/variable around daybreak,

4) We have you close to Cape Farwell around noon lt today

a) Thermal breeze will be developing midday and could be a
little shifty near the Cape


5) But expect there to be a freshening NW gradient wind as you continue E,
east of Cape Farwell

later today and this evening approaching the Cook Straits, as inverted
low pressure trough

develops along the E coasts of North and South Island.

6) This hopefully will give you a nice ride thru the Straits around 12 utc
Tue or midnight lt Wed am

7) Once E of the Straits the latest 6 utc GFS shows much lighter wind field
there as you exit 15-18 utc


8) Winds likely diminish to < 8 kts and direction becomes more shifty and

9) Looking at the big picture for later this week it seems your next breeze
will arrive from the S as new

high pressure tracks across S portion of South Island and heads ENE.

10) Use what wind there is after exiting the Straits to get S to get this
developing wind first.

a) Heading E or NE will keep you in the lighter winds

11) Assuming this all works according to plan then you will be into the SW-W
winds and on your way

around 00 utc Thu.

RoutingÖ Heading toward NW portion of South Island. Stay offshore 20+
miles though thru 8am

today to avoid uncertain winds near shore .

But will want to be close to shore < 5 miles by noon Tue

To take advantage of thermal influence near the beaches.

Take a wide turn near Cape Farwell to avoid possible wind
shadow ESE of there and head

E on the increasing NW wind approaching the Straits

Will need to Gybe to get thru the Straits

Then once thru the Straits use what wind there is to get
as much southing as possible

For next breeze from SW arriving from S to N around 00
utc Thu.

Estimated positions below.

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

Mon, Feb 2

15: 200-180 10-5

18: 180-200/ 3-6 but may be light and variable < 15 miles from shore

21: bcmg 240-270 / 3-6


Diminishing SW swell

Tues, Feb 3

00: 300-330/ 5-12 ñ nr Cape Farwell

03: 290-310/ 10-15 E-ENE of Cape Farwell for best wind

06: 300-320/10-15

09: 300-320/ 10-15

12: 310-330/12-22, Cook Straits nr Wellington could be stronger?

15: 320-300/ 18-12 exit Cook Straits.

18: 290-270/ 10-5 ñ winds may get quite light

WeatherÖ.Fair to partly cloudy

Seas 2-4 ft

Wed, Feb 4 ñ trying to get as much southing as possible for next breeze

00: 210-230/ 4-8

06: 150-200/ 4-8

12: 150-170/ 5-9 nr 43s/ 179w

18: 170-190/ 10-15

WeatherÖFair to partly cloudy

Seas 3-6 ft

Thu, Feb 5

00: 190-210/ 12-17

06: 200-220/ 15-20

12: 200-220/ 17-22 nr 44s/ 174w

18: 210-230/ 17-22

WeatherÖVariable cloudiness

Seas SW swell increase to 8-12ft

Fri, Feb 6 ñ winds stronger S and lighter N ñ continue on starboard

00: 240-260/ 15-22

06: 250-270/ 17-22

12: 260-280/ 18-25 nr 45s/166w

18: 260-280/ 18-25

WeatherÖVariable cloudiness risk brief squally shower

SW swell 8-12 ft

Sat, Feb 7 ñ tack to port

00: 270-290/ 25-32

12: 270-290/ 25-32 nr 45s/158

WeatherÖVariable cloudiness risk brief squally shower.

Best regards, Tom Mattus

Commanders Weather Corp.
Tel: 603-882-6789

A selection of pictures from today: