Thursday 14th April
It was so beautiful last night! I went on deck to adjust sails with wind having veered and increased a little ..... the stars overhead were so many and so brilliant.... and equally brilliant points of light kept appearing in our wake as we sailed nicely along in the dark, with the moon having set behind the low clouds which were all around on the horizon.
I've not long finished with the morning radio Nets - S.African M.M. Net and Patagonia Net ... Had problems with making contact, so each time needed a relay - Canadian Greg (VE0MUR), about 400 ml WSW of Cape Town on 'Alcidae3', relayed to SAMM Net and Swedish Milo, heading N about 50 ml off the S. Brazil coast on 'Artemisia 2', who I met in Ushuaia, along with her friend Teresa, relayed to the Patagonia Net. Last night, despite many attempts, I couldn't make contact with the Pacific Seafarers Net because of too much noise on frequency - not even a peep did I hear from them - so I emailed my position etc to them - to be put on Shiptrak, hopefully.
The sky has cleared to give bright sunshine - it's actually feeling a bit warm! But we're close-reaching, so it's getting bumpy... seas aren't so very big but we're heading into them and the wind has increased to 15 kt just now...
A major concern is the weather - as always!! Not only is there a deep Low, S of us now and headed SE over the next two days (which is reason I've been heading NE - trying to avoid worst of its very strong winds and heavy seas) - another Low is heading SE towards us from Brazil, getting close on Saturday, so we're sandwiched between them, unable easily to avoid the second one....! Added to that, there's another Low forecast, expected to give 7m (23ft) swells by Wednesday at 40S ... so it would be good to be N of that lot. (LATER: Just downloaded more grib files - showing that by keeping on a NE heading, we'll avoid almost all problems ... good news, but the situation changes so often, there are no guarantees.)
Winds around Lows here go clockwise, so if we're S of a Low and wanting to head E, we'd be headed. Tropical depressions and cyclones - the same... The rule here in the S hemisphere to avoid them if S of them is to 'put the wind on your port quarter' - that heads you away from its centre and the stronger winds.
1400GMT DMG 128 n.ml. ( Distance to Cape Town 2624 n.ml.)
Wind is still not too bad - around 20kt from NW - so not a problem... Tried videoing this aftenoon - not a bird in sight, of course! But lovely sailing in sunshine - very pleasant! I'm keeping fingers crossed that wind/swell won't be too bad at all and the Low on Saturday doesn't look as though it's going to create problems - so long as we keep on this course roughly for a few days more - then we can turn East..