UPDATE - 7 DAYS TO RODRIGUEZ
14 September 2011 | On the way to RODRIGUEZ
My good friend and sailor, Stuart, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Runaway Bay, Australia, wrote to me today and mentioned that there were some very nice comments on the blog. For that Im deeply grateful, especially out here. Unfortunately, I cannot access them from the boat-as I need actual internet. So, the trek to land, to the internet, to the blog and finally reading the comments is like waiting and waiting to finally open a package full of wonderful surprises-I cant wait.
An update. We are now 1100 miles from first landfall, Rodriquez Island. After that it is a short hop to Mauritius. We are doing approx 150 miles a day although yesterday was up to 200. We have been dealing with an extremely uncomfortable ocean for while the winds are up today, generally they have not been extraordinarily high. The waves have been at times 20-25 feet but even more to the point, completely disorganized coming at one from all sorts of directions. Today we were supposed to ease up to 30 knots of wind. But last night it hit early and suddenly - we spent the night battling 25-35 knots of wind into this afore mentioned sea.
A boat is a finely tuned machine and when its hit, banged, high winded, strained... for too long, it will eventually give way. And that is at the core, to be frank, of my unease and stress on this leg of the trip, a leg I want to see end.
Perfect example: most of the swells and waves are coming from the SE but as I was writing this, a wave hit us squarely on the side from the SW at the height of the bimini top. Had I not installed protections the bimini could well have been breached - for how long can that go on? Nature always has more to dish out.
Issues such as a hydraulic leak in the steering, the banging of the underbelly, the bimini and some other things all lead to a state of unease aboard Shearwater as we plow through.
Only 7 days more until Rodriquez - so Im going carefully and with hope.