Day 24 To fabulous Gough Island .... what a wild paradise!

Thursday 28th April 2011

9am - 24ml away from Gough Island, headed to Quest Bay on E side from around N end, since high cliffs on S end and very high mountains (2,500-3000m) all over island - so big wind shadow from NNW winds. Definitely a mountainous place!
Just put heater on for a bit - feels cool and damp in the boat -sea temp must have gone down...

10am
Just caught first glimpse of Gough Island only 8 miles away - wreathed in high white clouds with fog bank all around ... one high peak showing through a break in the clouds...

Position report for 1400GMT:

LAT: 40-16S LONG: 009-56W COURSE: 095T SPEED: 5.8 (motor-sailing)
WIND_SPEED: 8 WIND_DIR: WNW SWELL_DIR: NNW SWELL_HT: 3.0M
BARO: 1028 TREND: 0
COMMENT:. Passing N end of Gough Island.

24hr DMG: 145 n.ml. (almost all under sail - so another good day's run!) To Cape Town: 1404 n.ml

5.20 p.m.
Anchored in Quest Bay - that all went fine - until I tried to set the anchor - looks as though no astern gear... and forecast (from S.Africa via Base on island) is for Front to come through soon - with strong NE winds - not protected in here from that direction, so on a lee shore & will have to sail away ... Pity...

Seal surfaced by boat, wandering albatross sat on water close by, lots of sooty and wandering (NZ) and royal (Tristan) albatross flying around, petrels, a rare noddy tern .... so many birds of all kinds...! And the scenery is SO dramatic - high rugged mountains with craggy outcrops, rocky islets - and mostly clothed in green... truly awesome .... and a privilege to be here to see it all!

8pm
Picked up anchor and was under sail an hour ago - without having fixed windvane, despite trying.... Got rudder back into position OK but problem with fixing & securing pin to hold there - needed more time, which weather was not allowing..... grrr!!

So we're on our way to Cape Town again - ETA around 9th May.... winds and weather permittiing...

Written by : Mike

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