17 November 2007
We are now two and a half days out of Cape Town and have had some very rough seas churned up by gale force winds. At times we had close on 50 knots of wind from the south with some of the waves breaking onto the back of the boat. Fortunately the wind has reduced down to the mid twenties and the sea, although still very confused and lumpy, has reduces down to about a three metre swells.
The forecast for the next few days is that the wind abates a bit more and thus the seas should flatten a bit more as well - something we are all looking forward to!
Due to the lumpy conditions, Terry and Shaheda have been seasick, but that appears to be passing as they both had a reasonable meal of macaroni and cheese for dinner last night, which stayed down. Hopefully we will only see further improvement in their conditions and an enjoyable trip to come.
The weather has played its part with the boat - we have been doing some good miles noon to noon with 176 nm yesterday and 182 nm today. The down side of the confused seas has been a damp boat inside caused by the spray being blown off the wave tops into the saloon. This is now slowly drying out. We also lost our lazy-jacks (lines used to hold the main sail into the stack-pack sail bag), which broke off up the mast and will be on our "repair list" for when we are in St Helena.
In the next few days I should have been able to calculate our ETA in St Helena and to our destination, Tortola. Once I have done that I will add them to my blog report and see how close we are able to come to arriving at the different ports on the dates. Hopefully we can maintain good speeds during the voyage and keep to the estimates!
The photograph above was taken during the gale force conditions but does not depict the reality of the conditions - photographs seem to flatten the seas and not depict them at their worst.
The night watches have been very cold with everybody well wrapped up in their foul-weather gear. The stars have been bright and mostly clear due to little cloud and a quarter moon which should be a full moon when we reach St Helena. This morning whilst on my 06:00 to 09:00 watch, I saw my first flying fish. It was a small fella, about 7.5 cm long and trying desperately to get out of the way of the boat. It is still early days for flying fish and they will become more abundant as we get further north.
Today Shaun and I will be on HF radio trying to help our fellow Cape based Hams get some points in the HF field day contest. So, greetings from all aboard until my next report.