Monday 15th March: Day 7 (continued)
A pair of white-rumped storm petrels dash by, low down to the waves.... an albatross soars by, keeping a pair of all-dark, yellow-billed petrels company, ..... they land in the water to join a group of petrels resting there. The sun shines out of a clear blue sky... we're gently sailing along with just a fair-sized swell... All's well with the world!!
What a difference it makes when it's calmer like this - you can actually get so much more done! I've cleaned, tidied up, cooked (made a fabulous pumpkin soup - scrumptious!!), checked over vegetables and eggs (yet another broken egg - what a mess! I'm not doing too well on this passage!!) and re-organized some stowage by my bunk - so I should be more comfortable when sleeping. All in addition to the usual S. African Maritime Mobile radio net at 0630 and 1130 UTC, trying to make radio contact to send/receive emails, checking weather files, keeping an eye on sail-trim & occasional food and drinks. I looked at the sea-state & decided it was NOT, however, calm enough for another rudder session... There's a long (9 second) 2-3 m swell from the W, as well as other less obvious ones from other directions which occasionally combine and the usual wind-ruffled sea surface....
The wind has been quite good over most of the day, contrary to the forecast, and we've been making a good 6 knots, or nearly so, until this evening around sunset, when due to the wind backing, putting us onto more of a broad reach, we've slowed to around 5 knots SOG - still not too bad... It's so much calmer, I keep thinking we've slowed right down. The wind is expected to keep backing, into the South by tomorrow, and strengthen over the next few days, as will the swell (expected to get very large), due to a deep depression passing East to the south of our position... the reason I headed more north as of yesterday.
(By the way, I've been asked to point out that the helpful Rear Commodore Outside House at the Royal Cape Y.C. is not a Vice-Commodore, as I mistakenly referred to him .... Seems someone took umbrage at the wrong title used.... Oh dear.... I can think of far worse things in life to get upset about...)
Just went up to check on deck - a really heavy dew - just as though it had been raining from the clear, starlight sky. And now for some of that lovely soup..... !!
Position at 1800 UTC: 38* 55' S; 026* 32'E (See my website 'Travels' page for my daily noon positions on Google Earth)