RTW Day 100 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - drifting around in circles ... no

Tuesday 29th January, 2013

Beautiful clear night again last night ... and a lovely sunny morning - surrounded by 30-40 prions wheeling around at 7am - with a solitary black-browed albatross and pair of Great shearwaters as well.

Unfurled genoa in attempt to speed up in dying W wind - speed not helped by being almost dead downwind... Seas still quite big, although reducing, but still knocking us about occasionally.

By midday, most of the cloud had cleared to give pleasant sunshine, but cloud back by 5pm. W wind had picked up v.slightly so making better speed - over 3 kt instead of less!! Great shearwater and smaller prion circling around not far away...

6pm Boatspeed down to below 1kt! Difficult to maintain our course... NE current trying to take us N with so little boat speed.

As I was playing around with the headsails, trying to figure out what to do for the best, WSW wind came back a touch - we could just about make our course again, sailing slightly by the lee, at 2kt ... better than nothing! Cloud had cleared again ... a lovely sunny late afternoon, sun getting low - time to celebrate 100 days at sea by relaxing and watching the nearby Gt shearwaters and prions with some tea and Christmas cake - being kept for special occasions!!

Spent a time sorting out my paper charts yesterday - put away Pacific (for time being!), C.Horn/S.America and got out for E of S.Atlantic, S.Africa - attention was drawn to the extensive Discovery Seamounts - right on my path - so making sure I skirt to N of them in case of bad weather when thereabouts - pity, since means I'll be closer to light winds of H than I'd intended...

Emailing getting increasingly problematic.... We're right in between America and Africa with difficult radio email connection to each now... Daytime has become very slow, although I'm told it might improve, and night-time, although fairly reliable at present, is also slow - hoping to keep that contact for a bit longer.... If radio emails failed, that would leave me with only voice radio contact - no emails or weather info..... Just can't quite make the Africa contact, at present - I keep trying!! Annoyingly, Cape Naval in S. Africa doesn't seem to be transmitting the weatherfaxes it's supposed to - tried today but nothing heard.... They are so reliably unreliable...

8.30pm Getting dark - no wind: zero boatspeed! ... Mains'l centred, on preventer to stop flopping, ... drifting.

Later: Moving at 1kt in a big circle... we were drifting N.. now S! Frustrating!! Pressure up at 1019. Waiting for wind (... not for Godot...!) Bright moon glancing through clouds onto slightly moving sea - swell down to just 3m now.

24hr DMG at 10pm local time (2300GMT ): 77 n.ml. Gough Island: 112 n.ml. (355T) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha (332 n.ml. NNW of 'Nereida' now), uninhabited except for group of 7 scientists on 6-monthly posting for research (U.K. possession, leased to S.Africa). Cape Agulhas (southernmost Cape of Africa): 1454 n.ml.

For my positions, see:
www.svnereida.com - 'Travels' - "Where is 'Nereida'?"

Written by : Mike

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