Wednesday 08 Feb 2012
Not a lot to report today - Skies have been mainly sunny, with wind from SW and quite a big, short-spaced swell, also from SW, as we skirted around the Agulhas Bank ... An oppposing wind over the SW-flowing Agulhas Current can cause very nasty seas on the shallow Bank - which is why I'm not taking the more direct SE route but staying in the deep water off the continental shelf it lies on. But the Agulhas Current itself cannot be avoided totally and has been reducing our speed by well over a knot, often up to 2 knots, all day.
I've been catching up on sleep a lot, having frequent naps to make up for missed sleep due to the foggy conditions when I started overnight yesterday but I'm slowly getting myself and the boat back into 'sailing mode' - it's been many months since I made landfall from the Falklands in Cape Town last May.
The moon has got out from behind broken cloud and is lighting up the sea brightly - showing the swell that has been frequently knocking us about, often quite badly. We're heading East just now - simply to avoid the worst of the swell forecast to get much worse tomorrow and Friday when a deep Low passes by. When I get a weather update, I'll be able to judge how soon I can safely turn more S... There's high pressure not too far ahead, further S than usual at about 40S, so I need to be much further S than I am at present if I'm not to run out of wind or even be headed..
I'm posting my position daily, or to be more precise, Lor W3QA of the Winlink Development Team, is kindly posting it for me to the Winlink site (the link to the map showing my daily positions is on my website 'Travels' page) since I'm presently unable to make a Winlink radio connection, with both S.African stations being 'off-air' just now. My position as I write this is approx. 37S, 021E .
10.30pm local time - time for another nap! In two hours time, Cape Naval is possibly transmitting a weatherfax so I'll be up again, ready to receive that - IF it happens. It has been off-air for the last two years but someone recently told me it was back up again - we'll see... I've seen no sign of any shipping for most of the day, having now sailed well S of the E-W shipping lanes around South Africa but my AIS, in alarm mode, is keeping a 'listening watch' for ships within 25 miles or so..
Bye for now....