Lat: 52 36.29′ S
Long: 55 07.84′ W
Inst Speed: 14.0
Wind Dir: 316
Wind Speed: 14.8
Distance last 24hr: 351.58
Distance to finish: 8418.42
South Atlantic dusk
so good
that it’s worth photographing three times

Email from the boat to shore: 

From: OmanTri
To: update
Subject: Thursday morning
Date: 19/02/2009 02:37:36

Been a bit of a mixed bag last 24 hours, some rough seas, and uncomfortable
sailing, changed to easier seas, and downwind gennaker sailing, to one reef
and solent, and now back to full main an gennaker – the wind is shifting
massively whilst we make progress as best we can NE to the E of the Falkland
Islands.The weather is complicated, and the computer models are changing
with every output – which means it’s unpredictable…. what’s almost certain
is that we’ll have a period perhaps 12hrs later today of light to no
wind….. though this should pass over us, and bring new breeze, no two
models are the same and no two model runs are the same so where that wind
comes from ventually we’ll just have to see! we are guessing N’ly in some

We had to take the gennaker down for an hour or so as ther was a small tear
in the leach ( back ) of the sail, so we rolled it up dropped it and stuck
some sticky back kevlar on it – we had it flying again soon afterwards, and
so far so good…. this sail has had a lot of use, and should see a fair bit
more so we are keen to look after it – so each time it comes down now we’ll
check our repair, and for signs of any other problems.

Just as i write this we are sailing under 360/180 stars…. that is to say
360 degress around us, and 180 degrees above us are a huge sky of stars –
not sure there is a cloud in the sky…. and there is no light polution out
here – it’s fantastic. I think that Mohsin might be a bit used to it as I
think that it’s the same if you go out into the Omani desert – but for
those of us more use to urban living where it’s difficult to get away from
some kind of light it’s great to sit and stare… It’s H weather on deck
rather than H&G ( hat / gloves) so not so cold, and there are no waves
over the boat for the moment – so that’s nice too.

When it’s nice like this we’ll try to extend the watches a bit to give
everyone a bit of a longer time off, although the wind is shifty there are
not too many options ( and therefore sail changes to make ) so it’s as good
a time as any to take a bit of a break…the lighter winds ahead usally mean
less sleep not more – as we try to wiggle through to any new breeze.

We’ve done some more maths onboard, and have come up with number of days to
go if we carry on as we have gone so far… i’ll not share that with you
yet, but there is a marker in the sand for sure… !

so i am sorry for what is probably shorter than usual update – we’ve just
been sailing along doing our thing….the next few days could be the
same…… we’ll just have to see.

Weather Router’s advice: 

From: Commanders’ Weather
To: Musandam
Subject: weather Thu 2-19
Date: 19/02/2009 12:45:33

To: Charles Darbyshire and the crew of

From: Commanders Weather Corp

Event: sail around the world

Last Position: 51 48s/ 53 49w at 1100utc Thu Feb 19, 2009

Prepared: 1230utc Thu, Feb 19, 2009

SummaryÖ Lots of changes with fast moving weather systems into early next
week. Confidence

Below avg on details after 48 hours.

1) Your light air will not last long as fast moving low pressure trough
will track NW-SE thru you in the

next 12-24 hours.

2) Expect your breeze freshens from NE this afternoon then likely backs into
the NW-W 00-06 utc Fri

as the low/trough shifts east of you.

3) W winds likely get into the 20 kt range around 6 utc Fri.

4) These winds then back to SW and may diminish to 10 kts by 6 utc Sat.

5) But then another fast moving low tracks thru you again getting just to
your E around 12 utc Sat.

6) 6 utc GFS shows very strong W gale up to 40-50 kts for a time around 18
utc Sat at your expected


a) Seas build to 14-18 ft.

7) Difficult to avoid this fast moving low but the good news is that it
does not last long.

8) By 12 utc Sunday your winds will be down to 20-30 kts as the low exits
quickly to the ESE

9) High pressure following this low will track from 42s/45w at 12utc Sun to
47s/27w by 12 utc Mon.

a) This will bring much lighter winds to you by Monday

9) Not out of the woods yet as another much stronger and fast moving low may
track from

36s/44w Mon to 43s/25w by 12 utc Tue.

a) This could be very close to you by next Tue bringing
northerly gales to 40-50 kts then.

10) The good news on these potential gales is that they are fast moving and
will not last long.

11) The bad news is that they may be hard to avoid.

12) Also these systems are likely to be somewhat different than forecast by
the models so confidence

on expected conditions beyond 48 hours is below avg.

13) We will need to monitor these potential gales closely next few days.

RoutingÖ Do your best to head in general NE direction to be near or north of
ice waypoint 48s/35w by Sat nt and near 43s/20w Ice waypoint by early next

We will fine tune and try to minimize the affects of the possible gales as
confidence in the weather pattern becomes better in the next few days.

Some estimated positions below

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

Thu, Feb 19

18: bcmg 040-060/ 10-15

WeatherÖVariable clouds

Seas diminishing to 6-8 ft – W swell

Fri, Feb 20 Low pressure moves thru with better wind

00: 020-040/10-15

06: 260-280/17-22

12: 260-280/17-22 nr 49s/48w

18: 250-270/17-22

WeatherÖCloudy with a squally shower or 2 possible early then cloudy to
partly cloudy

Seas 4-7 ft ñ mainly a W swell

Sat, Feb 21- another fast moving low may bring a brief W gale late pm/eve

00: 230-210/ 15-20

06: 250-190/ 8-12

12: bcmg 260-280/ 20-30 nr 47 30s/41w

18: 260-280/35-50?

WeatherÖPartly cloudy to cloudy with squally showers possible

Seas building to 8-12ft

Sun, Feb 22

00: 220-240/30-40

06: 220-240/25-35

12: 210-230/20-30 nr 46s/32 30w

18: 210-230/17-22

WeatherÖSqually showers end then cloudy to partly cloudy

Seas 14-18 ft SW swell

Mon, Feb 23

00: 200-220/ 15-20

06: 210-230/ 10-15

12: 200-220/ 5-10 nr 44s/ 24w

18: 270-300/ 5-10

WeatherÖ.Cloudy to partly cloudy

Seas 10-15 ft mostly WSW swell

Tue, Feb 24

00: 330-340/ 8-15

12:350-010/ 30-45 nr 42s/18w

WeatherÖCloudy with squally showers developing

Seas increasing to 14-18 ft

Best regards, Tom Mattus

Commanders Weather Corp.
Tel: 603-882-6789

A selection of pictures from today: