We left our Rosita anchorage at noon, and passed along the northern coast of South Georgia in a layered fog. The world is entirely grey – air, water, sky a full 8 eighths, as the log says. Between two horizontal bands of fog we glimpsed our last slice of land, like a vision of black rocks and sharp white peaks, until we drew parallel with Willis Island and that in turn fell behind us. Now we are out at sea once more. The wind is only a light 6-7 knots so we are pushing along under engine power with three reefs in the mainsail. The sea is oily, swelling uncomfortably to the point that there was not too much interest in a hearty lunch, but so far the bucket has not reappeared. There is ample time. According to the forecast, the wind will pick up briskly this evening, from the south-west for the next 24 hours. The passage is predicted to take five days.
We have quickly fallen back into the imperative pattern of watches. Without Skip to lead his, Miles and Laura are alternating four hours on and four off, while we rotate three-hour three-man watches under them. Today Dick, Gavin and I have 9pm-midnight, so we will get a six-hour night – yay.
While we are still close to shore, the seas are full of life. Homing penguins flip in convoys out of the water, and seals pop up their black heads. We also saw a pair of whales spouting off the starboard quarter. Blue eyed shags, heralds of land for the James Caird, gamely scud round the forestay.
A life on the ocean wave. Good old Pelagic Australis.
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