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Day8 to S.Africa: 13thNov07 Clear sky, flat calm, motoring!!

Tuesday 13th November

Not a lot you can do about 2-4 knots of wind - except motor gently and check your fuel reserves!!

Good news is that the sea lies right down - so refuelling becomes perfectly safe in the gentle swell. I've calculated I've enough in the tanks (~190l) at the moment to motor gently for at least 84 hrs, or 3 and a half days!!! Having said that, it does look as though we may have very little wind for 3 days .... so I may yet need all that fuel since I don't expect to make landfall until Sunday or Monday at this speed. I could dig out my deep reserves - another 4x20l buried deep in my cockpit locker but what I'll do in the meantime is to pump out 30l into my smaller jerry cans to have ready to use, just in case.

Just had a look in the engine compartment to check on things there.... partly because I'm hearing a slight regular 'knocking' noise, which I don't think I should, from the prop or propshaft region. Found, lying beside the engine mounting, the same big nut off the top of the port-side forward engine mount which I'd replaced & tightened not that long ago .... why is it repeatedly working loose & coming off?? Something else I'd noticed, yesterday, in fact, is that I'd lost the starboard nav light fitting - torn off its cable and holder - presumably when the genoa fell into the sea on that side...

I'm feeling much happier today with my computer situation.... I'd trashed the dongle I have to use in order to access the Nobeltec world charts on my computer - or to be more precise, the computer fell about in big seas a few days ago and the dongle in its side got bent & so stopped working, despite my attempted repair which worked for a short time! With my AIS stand-alone unit not functioning, I was using the Nobeltec software to show AIS information whilst on passage overnight. Knowing that if any big ship comes within 15-20 mls of "Nereida" an alarm will go off to warn me means I can get much better sleep at night, so to be without the AIS completely was a nuisance, to say the least. I've had to run my radar instead, which uses far more power & gives some warning but also goes off with storm & rain clouds and doesn't give anything like as much detail - like name of ship etc. So, having emailed Jeppesen Marine to explain my problem, I was delighted to get an almost immediate response with a simple solution - I had on board another time-expired dongle which I was told could be activated to enable me to open up the Nobeltec world charts to display my AIS info. I've been pleased with the accuracy of the charts when arriving close to harbours & I like them a lot for passage planning (it's a nice, 'user-friendly', simple and clear program).

So today has been excellent: sun, calm sea, lots of battery power (so lots of music played!) ... but not many miles covered. Ambling along at 3.6 knots SOG only equates to just over 85 mls per day... instead of the 150 mls I'd got used to in 20 knots of wind. So arrival time in Richards Bay recedes even further away.... ho, hum...!!

Distance to go at noon today: 566 n.ml.

Written by : Mike

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