Thursday, April 22, 2010
As the High pressure system slowly inched Eastward, the wind started picking up, unfortunately from North North East which is exactly the direction we want to go in. Thanks to the direction of the wind and the resultant swell we have been sailing close hauled for over a week now barely managing to do either a NNW or ESE course with frequent tacks, sail changes and the boat pitching all the time. While we are still about 300 Nm from the Tropic of Capricorn, the weather has already started showing signs of the tropics with day temperatures in the 30 Cs and occasional squalls which give gusty winds from any direction while they are around and take away most of the wind when they move on leaving us with a nice swell for company! The ever present Albatross have parted company and we should be entering the territory of Dolphins & Flying Fish soon.
The weather forecast is predicting NE winds for a few more days till we meet up with the steady SE Trade winds for making a dash to the Equator!
Been reading about Jessica and the weather she has been facing. Despite the slow progress we are making I don't envy her much for that! Looks like she is in for a fast run home!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Having crossed the Agulhas Bank and current without getting into the Roaring Forties and seeing a big system moving in from the West we decided against going any further South and avoid getting into the Southern Ocean. No such luck! The Southern Ocean decided to move up a little and give us a last bit of hiding lest we forget it in a hurry! That meant almost three days of gale force winds with big seas that pushed us well to the North East. No complaints of course as things could have been worse had we stuck to the earlier plan of getting in the Forties. The shackle securing the brand new Stay sail to the furler decided to part company despite all the securing just as the gales started picking up and it was pointless trying to put a new one in those conditions so the sail was furled and Mhadei sailed with just the smallest size of main sail possible. I was surprised how well she managed to hold course at a brisk pace on a broad reach. After sailing her for over 25000 Nm I am still learning to sail her! The gales got us right under a High pressure system and vanished leaving us with very light and shifty winds. For a while the calm was good as it allowed things to be put in order both with the boat and the galley but now again we are looking out for some wind!
Monday, April 5, 2010
We are back at sea again having left Cape Town at 1030 h on 03 Apr. Both Mhadei and her crew thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and pampering lavished on us by the warm "Cape Townians"! Both of us would definitely love to come back here some day.
The plan was to head well to the South before turning East to keep clear of the Agulhas bank which is notorious for its West flowing Agulhas current and freak waves. As often happens, things didn't go quite as per plan with Southerly winds right after leaving Cape Town, that pushed us to the South West for the first day and night actually making us move in the direction we came from, that of Port Stanley! By Easter morning, the Skipper had had enough of slamming in the wrong direction and decided to head East taking advantage of light SE winds. The winds have remained a comfortable 10 to 15 kts SE through the day making slow but stead progress to the East. At this rate, in a couple of hours, we should be crossing Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost point of the African Continent and saying good bye to the Atlantic Ocean.