I took my first full star fix today!

Ocean sailing really is a lovely thing.

The weather says that I’m not in a rush, so I’m not in a rush. The weather is bigger than I, so I don’t fight it.

We slid along until mid-afternoon at a leisurely two or three knots. The wind was a constant couple of knots from the starboard beam, so I didn’t have to constantly adjust course and sails.

I say ‘slid’, because that’s just what we did. The ocean was flat and Perpetual Succour produced neither bow wave or wake.

Just a few bubbles aft was the only sign that we were making progress.

I think around 2pm local time, a lovely 10 knot northeasterly presented itself, and I started flying along at 6 knots norwards.

My wind generator kept spinning up and dying away. I panicked, thinking that there was a short in the wires causing it to auto brake. I dashed for the multimeter, until I paused for a second and realised that my mainsail was badly trimmed and dumping turbulent air onto its blades. I trimmed the mainsail and got the much anticipated dulcet whirring tones of a charging battery!

In other news, I took my first full star fix today.

When you use a sextant to take a sight of a celestial body such as the sun, you don’t actually get a full position. You just a get a line on the chart, and you could be anywhere along that line. However, if you take multiple sights of the sun over the day, you can get multiple lines at different angles, from which you can extrapolate a position once you take into account distance travelled between the sights.

With the star sights however, you get multiple lines from multiple stars at the one time, so you can get a full position ‘fix’ in one setting by plotting where the lines intersect.

Rigil Kentaurus, the southernmost pointer of the two pointers, Capanus, a brilliant yellow star from the Puppis constellation, and Sirius were my stars today.

J.K Rowling fans will guess that Sirius is the brightest star in Carnis Major or Big dog constellation.

Taking a twilight star sight is quite exciting, as you have to spot and measure the altitude of the star in the time between the star becoming visible and the horizon disappearing. I’ve tried several times, but this is the first evening that I’ve been able to identify and take sights of three stars in time. Identification is a bit tricky as only the brightest stars are visible, hence you don’t have much in the way of landmarks as they show themselves.

I took advantage of the peaceful morning to do a stocktake of the water situation and refill the main tank from extra jerry cans.

I’ve used 80L in 29 days, which puts my consumption at 2.75L per day. I have 220L remaining, which gives me 80 days at current use. Although I’ll probably use more as I pass the equator and enter the summer of the northern hemisphere.

Up until now I’ve been quite liberal with using fresh water for cleaning, so I’ve plenty of room to move.

With the excitement of the afternoon breeze, I made a day’s run of run of 60 miles, which means I’ve finally drawn parallel with Brisbane!

Latitude: -27.473, Longitude: -137.296, Time: 05:27:27 22-05-2018 UTC