27 February 2009
Welcome to the "Weekend Edition" of the blog. It is Friday February 27, but it could be Friday 13. Around midnight (boat time) I was on watch and we were bouncing and banging along quite happily with one reef in the main sail, when the boat de-powered noticeably. I checked the usual things then noticed that the main sail was billowing - yep, our reef line had chaffed through. So, Kyle got an early wake-up and we dropped the main and spent the remainder of the night motor-sailing. This morning we will try and retrieve the end of the reefing line, which has slipped into the boom, and tie off a new reefing line.
Last night I made a curry for dinner but, from the photo above, you will guess that it may just be fish on the menu tonight. I was busy yesterday afternoon making dinner when Kyle noticed the strike on our fishing line. He pulled in the great long-fin tuna where after Richard expertly filleted the beast. We now have enough tuna in the freezer to last us the entire remainder of the trip.
"In The Wind" is equipped with a chartplotter, radar, and AIS system. We have just crossed the Valdivia Banks, a large shallow undersea mountain which is roughly half-way between Cape Town and St Helena Island. About 36 nautical miles northeast of us we can see, on the AIS system, a medium sized but slow moving vessel. It is most likely a long-line fishing boat, working the undersea ridge. There are most likely a few more fishing vessels out there which do not have their AIS beacons switched on.
And now a few hours later. . . . We have retrieved the reef line out of the boom and re-tied it and have the main up again and are sailing along, not quite where we want to go, but still reducing the miles to our waypoint at St Helena. At noon today we had a noon run of 149 nautical miles but, unfortunately, not all of them towards our waypoint.
The weather prognosis we receive has, for the past few days, indicated that we are going to go through a large area of light variable and adverse winds ahead of us. It looks like a lot of motoring coming up! Even if we had to skip stopping at St Helena, we would still have to get north of the light winds to catch the easterly winds to take us to Brazil. Lets hope that the weather guru has the prediction wrong or the small high pressure system causing the light winds changes before we get there.
Right, enough for now. May you all have a good weekend - regards from Richard, Kyle and myself, John.