Thursday, 12 December 2013

WALVIS BAY TO ST HELENA ISL. 11th December 2013

11th December.22 Position 18.38S 013 33.56E
We left Walvis Bay around 2pm in nice conditions. Clear, good breeze and warm. The wind held for about 8 hours then died in the night so we were down to 3 knots. It will take a long time to cover the 1200 odd nautical miles at this rate!
During our final week in Walvis Bay we commissioned the new TMQ AP55 auto pilot from Australia and did some provisioning. I think WB must only get vegies once a month! When we looked in the shops upon arrival there was a good supply of very nice fruit and veg but a month on... the vegies look terrible, so dont rely on fresh stuff here. We have managed to put a reasonable amount of stuff aboard which, with nursing, should see us through.
I will try to update daily on passage so check back here for the odd update.
cheers all. 

Its shiny and stretches to the horizon all around us. It heaves and makes no sound. The only noise is the flap bang of the sails flogging from one side of the boat to the other as the ocean rolls beneath us. Nothing! No wonder people have gone mad in the doldrums and here its maddening enough and that's without the heat. Thankfully.
We have decided to motor because no wind is just no go. We could take the sails down and sit and play tiddly winks but looking at the forecast that will put us here well into next year!
On the upside.... we do have lots of fresh water. With the engine going we are making 60lt per hour so washing, boat washing, hair washing... showers as often and as hot as you like for as long as you want. We also still have the best latte coffees anywhere. Then what??
Reading. Lucky we have Kindles loaded with books cos we might need them all before we get to St Helena which is still 1000NM away to the north west.
Well that's it from here on the south Atlantic today.
David, Kris, 4 pilot whales and a flying fish.

Friday 13th!! 1400 UTC Position 21 49.97S 010 52.13E 
Well we've picked up the pace a little. Sundown Saturday to sundown Sunday we did 141NM. At 3pm today.. Sunday we put the kite up. It took us all day to decide to do it and work out how, because its been so long since its been out of the bag!! But its up and flying nicely. We are averaging about 7.3kn in 9 to 13 knots of breeze. There are apparently about 4 or 5 boats en-route to St Helena for Xmas so it may be a bit of fun... unless we are going so fast we miss it!
Its a little more comfortable with the kite than with the poled out headsail and the temperature is improving. Not hot yet but comfortable enough.
We sailed over Shackletons Sea Mount today. It rises 4000m out of the ocean floor to just 1000m under us. We didnt catch a thing!! Mrs Chippy was not impressed. ( for those who dont know Mrs Chippy, its the cat which accompanied the Shackleton expedition to the Antarctic. We have a replica aboard)

Position at 7am Mon 10 30.90S 004 46.29E
637 NM to St Helena Sundown Sunday to Sundown Monday 182nm. We had the kite up from 3.30 Sun till 8.30am Mon. but the sea state deteriorated and the wind picked up making it nerve wracking so we took it down and contented ourselves with just the poled out headsail again. Its slower but more comfortable and less threatening. Just as well we took it down before we had to because there was a snarl in the snuffer so we had to man handle it aboard. It could have been messy if the weather was heavier. We have never been very happy with the snuffer because it doesn't have a dedicated tube for the deployment / retrieval line and is prone to snagging. Reminder to get a dedicated tube stitched in at next sail-maker!. We have had some very big strikes on the lures. No landings but smoking reel and lost lures. Mind you, at 6 to 7kn it is pretty hard to pull in a fish, and impossible to slow down. Oh well we have plenty of SA fillet steak.
Just after dark we had a pod of dolphins swing by for a frolic on the bow. They jumped and hurumphed, leaving a wondrous trails of phosphorescence as they sliced through the water. I guess we were not going in the same direction thought because half hour later they suddenly left on pressing dolphin business. The moon is nearly full and finally the cloud which has been almost 100% for the last 48 hours, cleared revealing a beautiful starry sky.
Back to bopping contentedly along at 5.5 to 6.5kn.
5am Tuesday 500nm to St H.

75nm between 5am Tues and 5pm Tuesday. The cloud rolled away and the sun came out for a few hours in the afternoon. No fish.
About 15Kn SSE and temp improving. 26deg. Saw one branch floating. Thats it.
5am Wednesday 359NM to St Helena
Pos. 18 18.98S 0000 01.44E
About to cross into Western Hemisphere for my first time!

 Namibia Photos

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