Day 58 Crossing 180° West 29/10/13


Oct 29, 2013 w Antimeridian

Position: 40.46 S, 178.33 E

Note Glenn’s position is now reported in degrees of longitude East because he crossed 180° of longitude West (also known as the antimeridan) yesterday.  

We are becalmed at noon for the second straight afternoon. This is a roly-poly affair that I hope does not last a minute longer but will probably go on for an hour or so until the wind fills in.  We’re moving slowly but steadily south and west. 

The other significant milestone is that we are now in the Great Southern Ocean – defined as south of 40°. Becalmed in the southern ocean is not what I thought but give me a few days and that will all change. It’s interesting that I’ve seen seaweed and wood, branches and chunks of wood over the last few days as well. I can imagine Captain Cook also would have noticed that as he came upon New Zealand for the first time in the 1700s.

The birds are always in view these days as well. While becalmed we drifted passed three Petrels in the water squawking at each other and poking their heads in the water for a minute at a time as if one of them had dropped his keys and was looking for them. West Wind was only 20 feet away but to them we may as well not have existed. It is a bit chilly on board now and I keep the main hatch closed most of the day and all night. West Wind seems to have lots of air circulation though. It is a small space to spend my days in but very comfortable. At night when I lie in my bunk with just the low light of the GPS illuminating the cabin and the night light of the stars shining through the port lights it is magical, especially with the sounds of us sailing through the night ocean. I feel alone often out here on West Wind II. It is not a crippling loneliness but more a feeling of how remote a place I am sailing in. It is an astonishing, beautiful place at night.

I am up every night and when I open the hatch and take those few steps up the companionway and poke my head out to check the sails I am usually faced with a sky full of bright twinkling stars with passing dark clouds or the moon in one of its many stages. It is very seldom pitch black and even when it is there is beauty in its haunting darkness. The sea has many sounds as well. The sounds while below decks is completely different from what’s heard on deck. Over time you begin to decipher the sounds below into what is going on deck and most times you are glad you’re in your nice warm bunk.  

Course 227 T Speed 0.0kts Wind 0.0 kts Waves 0.5 m Cloud 65% Temp 17.5 C Baro 1015 steady Miles in last 24 hr. 110nm


  1. Hi Glenn,

    Really enjoying your posts and living a vicarious adventure!

    The definition of the Southern Ocean has actually been the subject of some controversy–see this recent article in Ocean Navigator magazine: Since it is the only ocean not separated from its fellows by a landmass, it’s pretty hard to pinpoint. Many scientists agree that its northern boundary is 60 degrees South, where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is most often situated. That said, sailors were the ones who originally came up with the term because they needed a way to express the very different wind and sea conditions they found in those waters. Wind and sea conditions certainly do change around 40 degrees south–around the tip of Africa they change around 34 degrees 30 minutes south! So I think any sailor would pick your definition over the scientists’.

    Good luck to you! Will you be seeing land again as you head down NZ?

  2. Doug Robertson says

    Hi Glenn,
    I am hoping that you have ran the engine lately! I look forward to your posts & wish you safe sailing.
    Your mechanic :)

  3. Thanks for the great mental images of your trip – it is like being there with you! Congratulations for doing what many of us have only dreamed about!
    Let me know if I am wrong, but doesn’t your “direction of travel” stay the same? That is, you are either travelling WEST (against the rotation of the earth) or travelling EAST (with the rotation of the earth) and that doesn’t change with your location on the globe? However, your position with respect to the Prime Meridian does change. You were on the WEST side of the prime meridian and now you are on the EAST side of the prime meridian.
    All the best on your voyage! We are now anxiously watching your crossing of the Great Southern Ocean!
    Victoria, B.C.

    • John W Bienko says

      Crossing the Anti-meridian WestWind is continuing the course in a westward direction. The Navigator may choose to continuethe reporting the position West of the Prime Meridian e.g. West Longitude 181 degrees, or choose to report with reference to the position as East Longitude 179 degrees. Both references specify the same position on the planet. Each day presents the spectacular beauty and expanse of the universe, challenging humans in the quest for more knowledge of its mysteries.
      You have the honour and priviledge to be the One person in the universe to witness that One moment
      May your special odyssey continue to fulfill your dreams. aloha

  4. kenneth woodside says

    I am getting a bit worried about you.Could be you are becoming too friendly
    with ‘Andrew the Albatross’???
    IF you are on a course/heading of 227 degrees true,then,you are heading WEST!!!
    Good luck mate.
    Ken Woodside

  5. Hi Glenn. What vivid scenes you are painting for us – many, many thanks! It’s a coincidence that you mentioned Captain Cook today. I was just today thinking how your voyage would be giving you insights into the earlier explorers’ experience. We’re very interested in your bird sightings, and loved the key-dropping Petrel. Warm greetings from our little corner of the world. Jean & Mike

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