46/46/s 68/46E 1349 UTC 12/18/2008, 10 knots, staysail and 3 reefs in the main, 28-34knots wind, WNW, making E course. Distance covered in last 24 hours: 260 nautical miles.
We were at 2 reefs and solent for a while, then we rocketed off too many waves at high speed, buried the bow, and loaded up the rigging too much for my comfort level. So we backed off, put in the 3rd reef, and then to the staysail when wind got up further. Crossed the corner of the 1000-meter plateau north of Kerguelen. When we crossed the 2000-meter line, I could see a distinct change in the color of the water, oddly, almost tropical, or at least a lot more tropical than the typical Indian Ocean gray for water and sky.
Last night, got out the Star Book to begin my re-education on southern Hemisphere stars. The book was written by H.A. Rey of Curious George fame, and it is fantastic because it has the mythologies of the stars and constellations. I highly recommend it. I found my favorite star here, Alpha Centauri. It’s my favorite mostly because the name just rolls off your lips in a most fantastic way…Alpha Centauri sounds magical.
The sea is pretty choppy here on the plateau, and the pilot is working hard. It will be good to get over the plateau. I’m not sure if cutting the corner was worth it, as we’ve had to slow for the confused seas.
I am devastated to hear of Yann Elies broken leg. Saw him the day before the start in Les Sables d’Olonne, riding his bike, standing on the pedals, with his daughter on the seat behind him. Kind as always, he rode over and introduced his daughter to me.