Day 34 - Frustrated by strong ESE winds still - but buoyed up by so many kind emails...!

Sunday 8th May 2011

Thanks to the many people who have sent very kind emails with good wishes after I 'closed the circle' on Friday - definitely helped to buoy me up, despite the still very 'boisterous' and frustrating conditions which have not allowed me to get much closer to Cape Town over the past day, with such strong (20-24kt) ESE winds!!

Sun has been shining this morning, which is nice, but I'm looking at my distance from CT - presently about 300 miles. The N-flowing current, combined with heading very close-hauled into big seas giving low boat speed, means that I'm only able to make a course of around 020-030T at best, whereas CT is on a bearing of 086T - almost due East of here...

The only good weather news is that the Low off Cape Town tomorrow is set to move slightly S and then dissipate, giving rise to light SW-W winds over tomorrow and then to light variables, mainly from W, for the next few days. So, hopefully, despite the still-present swell, I may soon be able to sail (or motor-sail) towards Cape Town - and a delayed landfall on Wednesday .....

1400 GMT report:

LAT: 34-20S LONG: 012-23E COURSE: 025T SPEED: 3.8
WIND_SPEED: 19 WIND_DIR: 100 SWELL_DIR: SE SWELL_HT: 5.0M SWELL_PER: 8
CLOUDS: 80% BARO: 1017 TREND: -2
COMMENT: 24hr DMG: 96n.ml. Dist.to CT 302 n.ml.

3.30pmGenoa just blew out... have had to furl it in - using just staysail now - but wind set to diecdown soon and until in to Cape Town - possibly no wind on last two days anyway ... so will wait and not try to mend it in present bumpy conditions for time being - It's a long rip all down from halfway...

5.30pm
What a to-do!! .....The wind just went around and around in circles - I couldn't figure out what to do... whatever I did, it was wrong each tIme - because the wind promptly changed.... and not just once .... several times.... Quite weird!! 23-24knots of shifting and circling wind.. There were some odd-looking long lines of grey cloud stretching from a point on the western horizon ... we weren't under but more between two long lines of cloud - I wondered if they were the cause of my problems... Lasted for well over an hour and had me quite concerned...!

Later: Wind dying down and slowly veering, as forecast .... Waiting for wind to drop further and go more S before trying to motor-sail towards Cape Town ... Deliberately not increasing sail so as to stay sailing slowly and not go further north than 34S - latitude of Cape Town. If wind dies right down, may have to motor last stretch .... grrr!!

Written by : Mike

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