Odds and ends
24 October 2017 | Oct 24th, 20 miles from Aghulas Current waypoint
Re reading the last blog, it looks as though somebody was sleepy-tired! Sorry about that. Catching up a bit today, as DC should be in the Aggie through the night. There is some complex weather stuff being built around us as I type. It is suddenly very muggy, with a uniformly dull grey sky and oily, sloppy sea. The barometer is bobbing up and down, and there is little wind ; so we are still motoring - hurtling along towards our meet with Aggie in about 20 miles (apparently). We were able to add sails to the mix for a couple of hours last night, but the forecast beam reach never materialised strongly enough to keep the sails from slapping around, so they were soon put back to bed. iSo far, so good....but no predictions from me until we are tied up to a Zululand Yacht Club pontoon!) A few extra bits of info have come to mind, though. We've not seen a lot of wild life....a few birds, a few flying fish, some dolphins, and that's it. The currents have been the main bug bear, but since we are the lead boat of our little convoy, we have been collecting data for the guys coming behind to help them avoid the worst spots. There have been some amusing moments.......especially when the wave came over the sprayhood and into the cockpit - about 4 inches deep. I had just come on watch, and was sitting/sheltering half under and half out of the sprayhood's protection and Maggie had just brought me a near-perfect cup of tea with two suggestive biscuits (TIP: the bag need a good pummeling to release ALL the flavour) Fortunately, the wave came over my right side - which got deluged, but the Tea and bics were in my left hand, so. not a drop was spilt, nor any salty water added.. However, some did get into the rear lockers (lazarettes) and made its way into the bilge - which is normally dry. That was soon mopped out and we'll take care to keep those lockers firmly latched next time. The two days of rough began with fog, of all things. It is a little unnerving to be in sailing in a rising wind at night and not be able to see more than a few hundred yards ahead.....especially out here. (Fog isn't mentioned in the brochure!)Here again AIS is a boon as you know that if you DO hit anything, it won't be as big as a ship. Now, as we approach the edge of Aggie, the weather looks pretty good for our purposes, and we should be OK. We're told it's 100 to 120 miles wide and travels south , following the contours of the continental shelf. It's rate can be anything up to 5 and locally 6 knots, but that is not expected at this time of year; more of a 3 to 4, with the strongest at the far side near the coast. Without a wind against situation, that should be fine and manageable, and we believe we have given ourselves plenty of room to be able to get across it and down the 50 miles to RB safely. We'll soon see!