Day 44 - Memories of Cape Town .... and several squalls add excitement to a rela

Wednesday 8th December 2010

Wednesday 9th December 2009 - log reads: 1800 GMT (2000 local time) "Royal Cape Yacht Club - safely arrived under sail - Edmund pushed me into a berth."

I'd taken 61 days under sail alone, to make the passage down the South Atlantic from Lanzarote in the Canaries, hoping to complete a nonstop circumnavigation single-handed ... but continual rigging problems forced me in to Cape Town for repairs I could not do unaided whilst at sea... then to find I had no working engine .... (I'd had to fast-tack to make the Harbour inner entrance against the wind and sailed on to the RCYC marina entrance - through the busy Wednesday evening racing fleets, headed out!!)

It was very disappointing to have to stop - but here I am, having another go, a year later, having continued on from South Africa, past Australia to New Zealand and then on to the 'Pacific North West' and Canada via Hawaii, to prepare to start all over again from Victoria, B.C. I've not long sailed across the Equator for the third time in just over thirteen months, having crossed on 27th October last year (headed S from the Canaries), 28th June this year (headed N from New Zealand) and just over a week ago - on 29th November (headed S from Canada). In sailing from England last year to reach Canada this year, I covered well over 23,000 miles! (You can tell I'm in 'remembering' mode, having been browsing through my logbook!)

It occurred to me recently that if I can get round Cape Horn safely and successfully, then somewhere in either the S. Atlantic or the S. Indian Ocean/Southern Ocean, I should cross my earlier path - which would effectively complete a solo circumnavigation, although not a nonstop one - that will happen when I get back to Victoria in May or June.

Today has been a fairly relaxed 'domestic' day with mainly pleasant sailing - but a bit of excitement several times when the wind has suddenly increased and we've found ourselves heeling a lot and needing to do some fast sail-reducing/trimming!! Once a big dark-grey raincloud not far away downwind was the clear cause of the squall, but the previous time, the sky had been clear ... a pressure 'squeeze', I suppose. If possible, I try not to reef down, since within half an hour, the wind will have almost certainly have died right down again and we'd be well under-canvassed - but when the apparent wind suddenly builds to 30 knots, as this evening, it's difficult not to reef down!!

The 'domestic' activity today has been dealing with the fridge - not working any more, so thorough cleaning and sorting out needed - and some washing of last night's few clothes that got thoroughly seawater soaked in a squall - they blew dry in no time (photo!), hanging out this afternoon under a hot sun in good wind!

I also cooked a good meal this afternoon - I've been finding that unless I start cooking in daylight, I've not felt inclined to cook later in the evening ... so have missed several evening meals and 'snacked' instead - not good news, so I felt I should take myself sternly in hand...!!

We're continuing to head due S, to stay on the W side of the S.E. Pacific High pressure area. On reaching 30S next week, it's likely that I'll be able to start looking for a slow turn to port - around the High centre - and start heading more directly SE towards Cape Horn.

24hr DMG to this morning: 145 n.ml. (better!)
Pitcairn Island 720ml; Easter Island 865ml; Peru 2515ml; NZ (E. Cape) 3392ml; San Diego 2995ml; Cabo San Lucas 2483ml

Drying cloths:

Written by : Mike

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