Oh, For Some Wind!
03 March 2009
Over the weekend we made the decision to skip our stop at the island of St Helena. The reason for this is that we have been experiencing very light winds and, taking into consideration that we need to be in Recife before March 21, the calculators came out and we found the stop in St Helena would put us too far behind schedule.
So, we have plotted a new route, cutting out the final section to St Helena and "cutting the corner" to head more west than north - more of a direct course for Recife. Generally, such a route is not advisable as it takes a person too close to the South Atlantic high pressure system, where there is no wind. However, the high is way south at the moment and there are adverse winds to the northwest, meaning that our "cutting the corner" may be the correct thing to do - we have to see in the next week what happens.
Yesterday, Monday March 2, we crossed from the Eastern Hemisphere to the Western Hemisphere when, at 07:08 UTC/GMT, we crossed the 0 deg. meridian. We motored across as there is such a light breeze from the east-southeast that there is not enough wind to sail with. We are downloading weather files each day and the South Atlantic, in general, really looks dismal as far as wind is concerned. However, the indication are that we should get a slight increase in wind over the next 24 to 48 hours, which in turn should permit us to sail under spinnaker and save our diesel. Lets see what happens!
Life aboard at the moment is quite boring - sleep, stand watch, sleep, eat, stand watch - and so the cycle continues. Richard is a brilliant cook and is keeping us supplied with great meals. Basically, we fend for ourselves for breakfast and lunch and have a cooked meal for dinner. Yesterday evening we had some rump steaks out the freezer as Kyle said he wants "beef". It was cooked on the BBQ on the stern of the boat (we have no problem with the gas flame being blown out - there was no wind, remember). Our freezer still has a plentiful supply of Tuna and we have not put out a fishing line since the long-fin was caught. It also contains a large variety of other frozen meats, some of which we have not even sampled yet - South African Boerewors for dinner tonight.
Kyle has started to update his blog which can be found at: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/inthewind/ Bookmark the page for his insight into the trip.
And before I close off the blog, a funny thing happened last night. Due to the rain squalls, we all had our hatches closed except for Richard. In the small hours of the morning he had an unexpected visitor, in the form of a flying fish, fly right through his open hatch and give him a nice slimy awakening. Not the most pleasant of experiences as the little buggers really smell bad.
So, as we plod along with very little breeze and rain squalls all around us, I bid you well until the next blog report. Regards from all aboard, John.