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RTW Day 98 - to Capes of Good Hope/Agulhas -

Sunday 27th January, 2013

Up early to check on wind and seas, ...underway by 7am, with wind seemingly down to around 25kt and seas looking fine - but wind was soon whistling in the rigging .. up to 30kt again! With just very small stays'l and triple-reefed mains'l, we kept going and were fine, although, as yesterday, it got pretty boisterous with the seas building as well. There were occasional periods of heavy rain, none very long, and foggy conditions persisted in the distance until late in the day. I put on the heater to help dry my outers and boots they were so wet and stood no chance of drying otherwise...

Pressure dropped from 1005 late yesterday to its minimum of 994 early this afternoon - at which point the wind backed to NW from N and suddenly died right down from F7 to F4 ... Boat speed dropped from over 6kt to 3-4kt for quite a time... Always difficult to know whether it's safe to increase sail then or not - maybe it's just a lull? I waited and eventually the wind increased a bit until we were making just over 5 kt - and, finally, back up to nearer 6kt....! The SE current is still affecting us.

Had fair copy on Geoff on 'Curare' during the Patgonia Net at 1200GMT (11am local time) - so maybe we're out of the daylight 'skip' zone now. Later, heard that Sam, on 'Suvretta', was safely in to port last night, after lying to his series drogue in nasty, steep seas and strong wind on the extensive Burdwood Bank, just 40ml SW from his destination Stanley, E.Falkland. Damaged his self-steering , but otherwise OK.

4.30pm Just seen a pair of Atlantic petrels nearby and also a Great shearwater - they've been around, on & off, all day. Although sky is still very grey , in the W (astern), there's what looks like the edge of the cloud layer - maybe we'll see a sunset again?

7.15pm There was a nice clear blue sky for a short time but sun just went down behind a mass of cloud on the horizon - so looks as though there won't be a lovely sunset tonight...

Sure enough - no sunset- but later the sky cleared completely - lovely full moon sailing in a clear starry sky.. Jupiter and stars clear... and wind down to a reasonable 20kt... All very pleasant!

24hr DMG at 10pm local time (2300GMT ): 99 n.ml.( hove to overnight) Gough Island: 248 n.ml. (058T) - 221 n.ml. SSE of Tristan da Cunha (343 n.ml.away from '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): 1673 n.ml.

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

Written by : Mike

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