On the High Seas - Eventually!
20 December 2008
Well, we departed the Elliot Basin in Cape Town during the morning of 18 December and proceeded to the fuel dock where we took on about 600 litres of diesel. Then we cast off our lines and headed out of the port with our next intended stop being St Helena Island. It was not to be! Luke reported the smell of diesel in the boat and we soon discovered that our main diesel tank had split with the liquid gold finding its way into the starboard hull. About turn and with workmen working furiously back in the Elliot Basin, the next morning we had two new Vetus tanks installed and at noon on the 19th we were back at the fuel dock to start the process of fuelling up again.
Now we have the wonderful aroma of diesel in the boat, which does not bode well for anybody that has not found their sea legs yet. Although none of us were feeling too good last night, only Jackie is still feeling a bit queasy, which we all hope passes soon.
During the last night we had a large amount of shipping passing us which has been keeping all of us on our toes - we had to change course twice during the night for ships that just did not bother to give us our right of way.
We did get some good sailing in but at about 04:00 this morning the engines were started and we have been motor-sailing since. Alistair (ZS5MU), who we communicate with each day, reported earlier that our wind should change this evening from WNW to SW and then South during the night as a small frontal system passes us.
We put out one of our fishing lines this morning and had a strike within the hour but lost a good sized tuna as quickly as it took the lure. Fortunately we still have the lure! Then to put a dampener on our fishing attempts, we had to take the line in at about noon due to a seal persistently following us - and the sod is still out there as I type up this report. As you may have guessed, we cannot put the line back until the fellow has stopped following us or else he will take the line and also chase away any fish near us.
So, there you have it - we are eventually on our way and heading for St Helena. I will post another update in a day or two but must report that radio comm's is not great.
Regards from all on board - Jackie, Adrian, Luke and myself, John.