FACTS AND FIGURES
20 February 2012 | In the South Atlantic
Today finds Shearwater and me about 800 miles from Capetown and about 900 miles to go to the rather famous island of St Helena - Napoleon's island. The morning broke with what looked to be a day of rain, darkish clouds in all directions. Thankfully however, the sun prevailed, the clouds dissipated and we have been instead treated to a perfect, bright, hot day. Around noon we seemed to be heading into a becalmed state with the autopilots almost losing control of the boat due to the 1/2 knot speed. But, that too has passed and now we are screaming along at 4 knots!
How I always welcome the sun for it brings many good tidings to the boat. First of all it activates my 8 solar panels, recharging the batteries that are usually somewhat drained after a night of hard work keeping, amongst other things, the autopilot and fridge going - both very hungry entities. Next, the boat, living on a bed of water with consequent high humidity, feeds most generously the creatures of mold - the sun heads them off. And finally and most importantly, it keeps my spirits in a more optimistic state for there are many aspects to this endeavor that can lead to a dispirited state... grey, rain and cold are just some of them...the sun battles them mightily.
As we glide along the surface of this South Atlantic Ocean, it always boggles my mind imagining the depths of these great oceans. At the present moment when I look at the chart, there is more than 15000 feet beneath my keels. And that brings me to underwater mountains, for barely a few miles to my left, a sea mountain peak soars upward and nearly breaks the surface stopping short at only 60 feet!...this particular sea mount is called the Valdiva Bank - to be avoided in stormy weather.
So, a few facts and figures for the day as we proceed on course at 333 magnetic, 975 days after leaving Florida.