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Day 111 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - little wind again - trying to keep heading East!

Saturday 9th February, 2013

2pm - We're sailing, rather than drifting....!! At all of 1.9kt boat speed - that feels fast compared with 0.0kt!!! Bright sunshine since this morning, with some thin cloud just coming over - and SOG of 2.7kt - we're 'Speedy Gonzales'!!

It actually felt like a lovely summer's day with the warm sun - until the thin cloud was replaced by thickening fog and damp cold!

Was up so many times overnight and this morning, gybed several times to head us East again... trying to stop us from heading N or NW, as I kept finding we were... fortunately, not drifting very fast...

Latest problem seems to be that our displayed heading is totally wrong and mostly I'm not allowed to re-align it when I go into the relevant calibration page - 'NO COMP' keeps showing... I managed to re-align it once - and soon after found it was wrong again... I thought that 'COMP' stood for computer ... but I've just heard that it stands for compass - so a lesser problem! But dealing with it has become the urgent job of today, while still calm.

7pm Just waiting for the basmati rice to finish cooking so I can have a beef curry I've been looking forward to making for ages - with onion, spinach (works really well!) and potato using aTikka Masala paste - easy and will be excellent with lime and mango pickles! Enough for at least two days....

Thoroughly murky, damp and foggy outside, as darkness draws in ... But at least we're still sailing - heading SE to avoid possible headwinds which could be fairly strong, following several more days of light winds after this Cold Front coming now has passed. Weather is being really difficult - I never expected to have such trouble, or take so long, rounding Capes Agulhas & Good Hope, with such prolonged mainly light conditions.

Dealing with the fluxgate compass problem proved easy - looks as though it was most likely due to a loose data wire at the course computer connections. Went to check resistances across some wire pairs at the computer and when removing the wires in readiness, found the one slipped out far too easily. (Have now tightened all possible wire connections there!) Have measured the resistances anyway - and will see if Raymarine agrees that all seems OK there. Looking hopeful since no more 'NO COMP' messages have been seen and I had no problem re-aligning the heading with the ship's compass.... and the displayed heading has stayed sensible since.

Looks as though the rudder reference unit might well be dead.... Not a disaster since I can still use the AP but might just have to be careful when switching it on, that the wheel is centred.

Took advantage of the calm to search through some lockers for 'missing' underwear without everything falling out - that was getting pretty desperate!! Feeling chilly with the fog now - will have to replace one or two top fleeces I'd removed earlier.

24hr DMG at midnight local time (2300GMT): 41 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 663 n.ml. Cape of Good Hope: 666 n.ml. ... Had hoped to be rounding the Capes on Sunday, but that won't be happening ... My waypoint, due S of C. Agulhas, is still 247 n.ml. away

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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