Day 36 to Cape Town - nearly there! Flying fish lands on deck!

Tuesday 10th May 2011

Great surprise! .... Found a flying fish (and a squid) on deck soon after dawn!! Didn't think we were far north enough, in warm enough waters, for flying fish ....

Had to motor-sail from 6am - just a touch of engine-power to help make sure we arrive in daylight on Wednesday, rather than arrive after dark or wait overnight for daylight entrance on Thursday morning... Still not sure if my astern gear is working or not - I'll find out inside harbour, before I make for the marina entrance. Might need all my fenders ... and a very slow approach (preferably with a nice headwind!) ....should work out OK.... especially if someone on shore to catch my lines to stop me!! Wind now only 7-8 knots and boatspeed 4 kt - just not quite fast enough, since need to average 5 kt if to arrive before dark.... Hopefully, we can finish with a nice sail - that would be nice...!

Midday
3 white-chinned petrels nearby and one yellow-nosed albatross soaring in distance on long, dark, fixed wings. Sunny with quite a lot of cloud.

Rolling about a lot at times in long swell from SSE - partly due to having boom well out with wind from well abaft the beam.... Still motor-sailing due E in 10 knots of W wind ... not a lot of help in making a good speed towards CT! Just checked fuel level, yet again - plenty there...!

1400GMT report:

LAT: 33-58S LONG: 015-45E COURSE: 089T SPEED: 5.9
WIND_SPEED: 7 WIND_DIR: W WAVE_HT: 2.0M WAVE_PER: 7
SWELL_DIR: SSE SWELL_HT: 4.0M SWELL_PER: 9
CLOUDS: 60% BARO: 1010 TREND: 0

24hr DMG: 110 n.ml. Distance to Cape Town (RCYC): 134 n.ml.

3pm
I can't get over how warm it is - I've discarded my thick fleece trousers and a top layer - too hot! Downside of sunshine and warmth is I seem to have lost my faifhful birds - no more great shearwaters and only the one albatross seen earlier... Did see a flock of birds (prions?) busy nearby a short while ago - they'd clearly found some fish - and a gannet (or similar-looking black and white booby...) flew past.

Enjoyed the last of the fresh eggs, with fresh coffee afterwards, in a sunny cockpit... reflecting on my last few months of sailing... Would have been so nice to have been closing on the B.C. coast right now, as intended .... Have to admit that's been a huge disappointment to me... but sailing is so often unpredictable - that's one of the things I've always liked about it, although it can also get frustrating at times...... I've been celebrating pre-landfall today in my own way... enjoying being at one with the ocean & storing up good memories!

Quite a lot of shipping now - have 2-3 boats near me most of the time - mostly cargo vessels headed around S. Africa to the Indian Ocean, some to Singapore and beyond.

7pm
Always good to watch the sun setting although nothing extraordinary tonight. Clear sky overhead, line of grey cloud on the horizon...and the bright, waxing half-moon high up. Possibly my last sunset at sea for a while, since I'm hoping by this time tomorrow to have berthed at the Royal Cape Y.C. in Cape Town harbour. Wind down to 5 knots from NW - if it were a bit stronger, we could sail nicely...! Hopefully, as it veers more to the N tonight, it will strengthen.

Written by : Mike

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