Oh, For Some Breeze!
26 February 2009
It is Thursday, February 26 and we are motor-sailing. The prognosis was that the South Atlantic high had ridged over towards the African continent and that our wind would drop and become variable over the next few days. Whoever the forecaster was, was absolutely spot on! Through last night the wind slowly dropped and we motor-sailed on and off but today it is even lighter, with a 10 knot true wind out of the southeast.
Yesterday was a day of errors - we managed to get our fishing line entangles in our starboard propeller, which resulted in some anxious moments untangling it. It was successfully removed although it has now been laid to rest in the garbage. We do have extra line and a new line and lure is now out off the port hull.
Then we had a problem with the hoisting of the spinnaker and the tack line, which is too long, was accidentally dropped in the water, went under the boat and also ended up in the starboard propeller. Fortunately, the engine was put in neutral in time and the line was retrieved with no damage to the either the propeller or line.
Oh, and before all our mishaps, Richard caught our first fish of the trip - a small Dorado that was so small it was returned to the sea to grow a bit before somebody catches it again and makes a good meal out of it. There is a photo of it but, due to limited bandwidth on our email, we will rather not publish it with this blog report - the embarrassment in its size also plays a part in this decision.
The distance from Cape Town to St Helena is 1699 nautical miles. At noon today our navigation instruments read exactly 1000 nautical miles to our first waypoint at St Helena. From that waypoint it is another 7 nautical miles to the anchorage in James Bay. This should, considering current wind and sea conditions, mean an arrival at the island during the afternoon of Thursday March 5. Lets see how we progress over the next week!
Our course from Cape Town is north-west and as we progress west, we change time zones every 15 degrees we progress. If we take the Greenwich Meridian as the centre of our time zone, we add 7.5 degrees to each side of it and that will give us our "time zone" of UTC/GMT. Later this afternoon we will pass the 7.5 degrees east meridian and thus, as we are heading west, have to subtract one hour from our onboard clocks. This means a "double happy hour", which will be celebrated with not our usual evening single beer but one followed with a second. Ah, life at sea can be complicated but also has it's occasional perks.
In a future report I will post some information on the island of St Helena, for those that are reading this blog for the first time.
And now, before I finish off this report, the map on the right side of the blog page indicates our position for each report I post. This is not done every day but if you want another map of our daily position, click on the "Shiptrak" link a little down in the right hand column of the blog page - I do a daily post of our position and this should be indicated on a large world map.
So folks, that's all for now - regards from Richard, Kyle and myself, John, until the next blog post in a couple of days.