It's been a quieter day today, a bit too quiet actually. For most of the day the wind has been a bit non-existent. Any progress we did make could probably be put down to drift more than anything! But there's a nice breeze again now so off we go again. Rolling about not going anywhere started to get a little frustrating today, so I kept busy doing some school work and I finally put the fishing line out. No luck catching anything but there's always tomorrow. I also didn't have much luck with school work. After completing the first English assignment I sent it off to discover that I'd opened the wrong bag and have been working on next year's assignments, oops!
To cheer myself up I had scrambled eggs for lunch, made with powdered eggs and cream, really yummy! So I'll have to have them more often. Powdered eggs aren't exactly an off the shelf item, but all the effort Mum put into tracking them down was well worth it! Last night I brought my sleeping bag out in the cockpit and managed to get a bit of sleep under the full moon. It was a pretty cool sight with the moonlight making the waves sparkle and lighting up the sails. I have to keep reminding myself to make the most of nights like this as things are certainly going to change when we head back south and into the Southern Ocean.
For everyone who's been curious about how I keep in touch with the rest of the world I thought I'd explain the communications equipment on board Ella's Pink Lady. First off, I'd like to say a huge thanks to Satcom Global, the amazing guys who have provided all the satellite gear for me. To start with, I've got two handheld satellite phones (one lives in the grab bag ready for me to take with me if I ever had to abandon ship). Most days the satellite phone is a completely clear line and it's as if you're right next door to the person you're talking to rather than out in the middle of the ocean! Then I've got internet connection through a small satellite dome on the stern called the sailor 250. This is what enables me to send video clips, pictures, blogs and emails but it can become pretty costly so I can't exactly just browse the internet all the time. Ella's Pink Lady's also got a HF radio which I use for skeds and listening in to see what other yachts are in the area. Other than that there's a tracker which sends back a constant signal to the appropriate people and all my different EPIRBs (emergency position indicating radio beacons - a signaling device in other words), but they come under the rather extensive subject of safety equipment, so I won't got there tonight!
Talking of communication, the other day I was having a major cheese craving and couldn't find the cheese anywhere, so I called Mum to ask whether she knew where it might have been packed. Mum was actually in Melbourne having lunch with Jesse Martin and his Mum Louise at the time. My quick casual call about something as unimportant as cheese really highlighted the difference between my voyage and Jesse's. Back when he sailed around the world satellite phone calls were so costly that they were saved for pretty much only emergencies and Jesse certainly didn't have luxuries like cheese! Anyway they all had a good laugh at my expense and it sounded like they were having a good time.
I hope everyone in Australia had a win on the Melbourne Cup today. I hear some of my shore team picked the winner Shocking, so that was good news. I'm not really sure what I can do to celebrate it out here, any ideas?
Finally, I hope you all like the updated website which now has a tracking map so you can all keep an eye on me.
It's going to be long night out here tacking around another reef but all part of the fun!