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RTW Day 108 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - drifting in no wind until late afternoon

Wednesday 6th February, 2013

Just lost my entire previous almost-complete report... so this will be a shortened version!!

As expected, spent most of day in calm conditions, with boat having drifted around in a big loop overnight and up until late afternoon, when I realised we were drifting W in a very straight line - slight northerly breeze had come up... gybed the sails and got us sailing E again.. Going nicely now, in freshening wind and, so far, very little swell.

Worked on the wind transducer a long time - cut the ties holding it in place on stern arch and brought it down below - wanted to test voltages between two different pairs of wires with vane in different positions - took an age to get consistent readings... Seemed that connections at display were dodgy, so tried to clean them up, and multimeter battery needed changing... Conclusion? Looking decidedly not good!! Readings weren't behaving as they ought to. Had hoped to look at autopilot rudder reference unit also - has been misbehaving since a few weeks after it was last 'fixed' - but no time today. It's not showing the rudder bar when AP in 'Standby', so AP is using COG instead of rudder position... works, but not so well.

Pause .... Just furled in some more genoa - making nearly 7 kt and wind clearly building... getting dark (8.15pm) so don't want to be overpowered overnight... Also having some more lovely, hot, thick soup - was very welcome after working all day with nothing since b'fast...

Atlantic High is well S and causing present southerly position - I'd expected to be more to the north - around 40-43S, perhaps, but for several days, in order not to be becalmed more often, this is the latitude to be at. Could take a time to get past S. Africa with more light winds forecast soon.

Grey day ... counted seven Atlantic petrels .. and a black-browed or yellow-nosed albatross in the distance - dark wings and back, white body - too far away to see head to identify it properly - but clearly not one of the enormous Wandering (or Royal) albatross - as seen yesterday..

Wondering about changing my position reporting time - has so far been daily at 2300GMT promptly - to give 24hr DMG and post to my website via link to Winlink/Shiptrak mapping pages. But that time has now become midnight - or later, as I head East more - so not exactly convenient!! Maybe next time I'm becalmed (soon!), I'll do a 12hr position/DMG (at 1100 GMT) and continue from there... Delays posting this log report also.

24hr DMG at midnight local time (2300GMT): 56 n.ml. (Lucky not to be zero!) Cape Agulhas: 760 n.ml. Cape of Good Hope: 745 n.ml. ... Hoped to be rounding those on Sunday, but forecast light winds might delay that ... My waypoint, at 45S, due S of C. Agulhas: 427 n. ml.

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

Written by : Mike

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