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RTW Day 95 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas - afernoon sunshine and blue sky

Thursday 24th January, 2013

Sipping fresh coffee while typing this, with bright, warm sunshine slanting in through hatchway onto chart table - feeling a bit like summer ....unusual!! Will have to 'bank' it - strong weather, by way of an intense, rainy Cold Front, coming up very soon...as in Saturday/Sunday...! (Downloading frequent grib weather files to see latest forecast...) Just made one of my "quick'n'easy" meals - tuna, chick peas mayonnaise...mix together - takes a few minutes to open the cans & mix in a bowl ... simple! We're actually having a great sail just now... Seas are fairly rough, with plenty of white horses, and the fair-sized swell is there in addition go the smaller waves, but being on a broad reach, it's a comfortable point of sail and we just rise up and over the waves, with the occasional stronger rolling motion with the bigger waves.... Still a helpful ENE-NE-flowing current adding to our boat speed.

Good contact with Graham, ZS2ABK, on SAMM Net at 1140 GMT (9:40 am). Also with John, KC6BLQ, on 'Orca' - on passage NW from CapeTown with v. litle wind at present. They weren't intending stopping in St Helena but after I told him how friendly the 'Saints' are and how nice a place it is, they're reconsidering!! Chatted with 'Orca' for too long and missed Patagonia Net but probably wouldn't have made contact anyway if yesterday's experience counts...

...But last night at 0030GMT (10:30pm local time) , made good contact, albeit with a lot of static, on same frequency .... Four boats chatting on radio at that time!! The others were 'Curare' (Canadians Geoff & Linda - in Chilean channels, slowly heading to Port Williams, Chile), 'Suvretta' (Irish Sam - heading to Stanley, Falklands), 'Silas Crosby' (Canadian Steve - he'd unexpectedly made contact with me 3/4hr earlier on 14300kHz when I checked into the MMS Net in USA. We'd been in contact daily for a long time on my previous passage S to the Horn while they were heading from Mexico to Valdivia, Chile)

3pm Wind is WNW a good F5 (~20kt) and seas are 3-3.5m - sailing well on port tack just N of E, with goose-winged stays'l and also some genoa - catching spilled wind from stays'l... Soon after dawn, at 5am, when I was woken by the wind getting up more and went on deck to sort things out, there was a pair of Atlantic petrels and also a storm petrel around - but just a rare glimpse of the petrels since then.

Word on the problem winch via email wasn't helpful - basically, just to keep on trying what I was already doing... which isn't working....

"The Fortune of War' is going well - but I'm coming to the conclusion that reading novels is a dangerous occupation! Get so engrossed, it's easy not to pay the boat its share of attention! Having to 'ration' my reading time and keep one eye on the clock or set an alarm....

8.30 pm I went up to enjoy a rare sight this evening at 6.30pm - a sunset!! Suddenly realised there was a clear sky again, after the usual cloud cover had come over and the lovely sunshine of earlier had gone ... but there was an enormous orange sun, going down behind a low bank of cloud in the W ... a bright, near-full moon up in the E sky .... 5and 'Nereida'sailing along beautifully... We're having a dream sail just now, making excellent progress!! Shortly after, the bank of cloud had spread all over ... but not much later, a clear sky again... Jupiter inTaurus... the moon not far from upside-down Orion, ... the Southern Cross and Pointers high up in the S... All crystal clear despite the moonlight... Wonderful! I keep going to the companionway just to gaze out - and it's not so very cold either .. !! (Cabin temperature got up to 19C this afternoon!)

24hr DMG at 9pm local time (2300GMT ): 148 n.ml.(excellent!) Cape Horn 1822 n.ml. away (SW). E. Falkland: 1459 n.ml. (WSW), S. Georgia: 825 n.ml. (SSW). Gough Island: 626 n.ml. (ENE) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha, 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): 2061 n.ml.

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

Written by : Mike

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