Sunday 29th November

13:30 – Forecast – ESE 18 all day until 00:00, E/ESE 18 – 15, only problem is it should be 18-21 at the moment and it’s nearly flat calm. No idea what’s going on, these big wind forecasts are usually close because the meteorological events that cause them are easy to spot and forecast from. I’ve at least drifted back to yesterday’s course, well close anyway. I have a modest start but if the current is still against me it will be a long day without wind. Fingers crossed it’s just timing as I could do with three or four days of wind like the forecast. Not sure what to think.

18:00 GMT – No sign of the big wind yet which is frustrating and Tony seems to think the islands are blocking the east wind for my location. So I’m still fighting the current and only making 1 3/4 knots. I am getting some wind but it’s light really, you get the impression it wants to blow but it doesn’t have the legs. I’m pretty much back to yesterday’s laid in course which is good but I need a push to get me away from the weird current area. I’m only 132nm from Espiritu Santo with every mile ground out against the current, it’s got to be one of my worst weeks since San Francisco. All I can do is keep grinding. Knowing the wind has missed me is all the more frustrating because when it goes back SE I know I’ll get all of that. I need to go do a happy dance or I’ll be shark food by the end of the day.

07:00 GMT – A clarification first on the weather, it appears there was a conditions split and I was on the cusp. A bit too high for those big winds, however I hit some nice E, ENE wind I wouldn’t have have got in the big wind.

I was desperate for the wind to help fight the current, in the meantime I returned to the grind. About 20 minutes in things seemed a little easier, then a little easier still and then all of a sudden I’m doing two knots then two and a half. Looks like I’ve escaped the SE current and I could be in a southerly current now (next in the rotation). Who cares, I’m off, the wind picked up as well in the 5 hours up to 00:00 and I did 13nm. Nor world best but better than a poke in the eye with a stick and that was the story of the day. 22/24 minute miles, lovely wind angle and a subdued swell, hardly any water in the boat at all. All leading to a 40+ day that really got going quite late. I was well under my course which is good, I got 16nm further south and now I only need 75 more to be level with Cairns and that would be a very good thing. I’m not totally convinced about the current, in my 04:00 to 05:30 row, things started to tighten up but we are drifting ok so that’s something for the morning. I’ll take today and 23 more like it please.

In other news:

Cairns is 1056nm away, a really good day tomorrow would get me the 1000, not seen the forecast so no idea what’s possible.

Dead GoPro, one of my cameras died. I was getting condensation in the housing so I’d asked Cheryl to send some silicon beads with the resupply, the guy in the camera shop said use rice. So I did use rice, I cleaned the housing up but must have missed a tiny grain of rice. It sat in the seal, I plunged the camera under water the other day and later discovered it was full of water. I tried to dry it out but no joy. Hope the sim is ok as I’m sure there was 70 plus clips on it. I’ve got my old go pro and one additional new one so should be ok.

Espiritu Santo is 160nm away now, hopefully I’m drawing away from its influence.

Just got forecast, if it’s right it could be a good day and the swell is getting up which is a good sign.

Rib, hurts if I cough (well don’t cough then), I was hoping it was just badly bruised but I suspect not. It’s no better, no worse. I pushed hard today though so it will be interesting to see what it’s like in the morning.

That’s it for today.

John

Out

Notes:

John: I am the medical support, I’m only taking two tablets twice a day and it seems effective. Don’t have multi vitamins unfortunately, just vitamin C.

Tom: Sounds like you’ve a lot on your plate Tom, family first, this is just a trifle I’m doing, I appreciate the thought though, hope your dads ok.

Catherine: I prefer softer ones, that’s why McVities are my favourite. You can still dunk them.

Dave: It would scare any day Dave, and it’s definitely mine and it’s definitely green. I’m fighting everyday, just got to get twenty some more days out of this old body!

Brian: I love your attitude to golf, I’ve tried a few times but I know I don’t have the patience, plus I’d get obsessed. Much better today, no tantrums just miles on the board.

Mike G: I try not to laugh but you need a chuckle every now and then otherwise it’s just hard work. He doesn’t need the cash Mike, he makes about 9 million a year last I saw. He owes everything to athletics, he should have done the right thing before the election.

Steve: Thanks Steve, when I was getting ready for the Atlantic, I flew across ocean so I thought about it very differently. Same with Cheryl, Libby and Georgie, they went on a cruise and looked out at night and wondered how I coped in a tiny boat.

Geoff: Love that stat, I’ll publish it tomorrow if that’s ok. Your good vibes broke me free Geoff. Keep it up. Yes, you can tell a Barnsley accent from a Sheffield accent a mile away.

Message from Editor: I’m advised by Tony that this picture was John doing his happy dance when he received his Ginger Nut resupply!