28 December 2009
I had intended to depart Cape Town on Saturday December 26 but, due to the boat not being completely prepared, we only threw off our mooring lines at 07:30 on Sunday morning and motored out of the Elliot Basin and ultimately, the Port of Cape Town.
We spent the first five hours motoring into a 5 knot north westerly breeze before the direction changed and we were able to roll out our genoa. The wind picked up over the following hour and we have been able to sail on the genoa alone since lunch time yesterday, with our noon to noon run being a comfortable 166 nautical miles - not bad as we had no main sail up!
Shortly after 10:00 this morning (Monday, December 28) we had the main up and are averaging 6.5 knots. About six miles to our port we have a large bulk carrier that has been overtaking us for the past few hours but, other than that, only the occasional fishing trawler was spotted during the night.
Nobody was feeling too bright last night and thus our main meal for the day was sandwiches. However, everybody appears far more comfortable today and I have planned a pasta dish for tonight - baked macaroni and cheese. I also assembled one fishing line this morning and we have that trailing off our port hull. Maybe we will end up having baked tuna pasta instead - let's see what the fish have to say about the matter!
The distance from Cape Town to St Helena is 1699 nautical miles. However, I have plotted a course to the east of the Valdiva Banks, an underwater mountain that lies exactly half way, which should add an extra 12 miles onto the distance. Often there are a few fishing vessels over the banks and we want to avoid them and the extra swell that is generated around the banks. We should then make landfall in St Helena on Friday or Saturday next week, hoping that the winds stay more or less favourable for the first leg.
So, from Joy, Greg, Louis and myself, John, I bid you well until the next report in a few days time,