Sun/Mon 16/17Mar08 Lovely relaxing sailing in sunshine

Sun/Mon 16/17th March Relaxing sailing most of the time...

Sunday - Flying fish count this morning: 18, mostly tiny, but 2 big ones

Fluffy white 'Trade wind' clouds lined up, clearing overhead overnight to give lots of lovely bright stars - Southern Cross & 'Pointers' high up, Sirius nearly dead overhead and a bright waxing moon (just gone 3rd quarter). I just realized it's Easter next weekend - the moon will be just past full then. It's always nice to have a brightly-shining full moon at night at sea - and that will most likly be when I'll be getting through the ITCZ - full of squalls and thunderstorms, so the lit-up night sky will be doubly welcome!!

Although in the sun at midday it can be very hot (I try to stay mainly in the shade then), the air temperature is tempered by the constant breeze & at night it feels definitely cool - so all very pleasant.

I had to move the pole over this morning.. I'd tried to avoid it for as long as possible after having had to gybe the mains'l on to port tack during the night, but the wind was clearly staying firmly in the SSE-SE direction so I made that my before-breakfast job... with a late breakfast as a result - changing the pole from one side to the other usually takes me about an hour all told, what with lines to be changed & genoa furled in & unfurled...!! But I rewarded myself with a lovely ripe pink grapefruit from Simon's Town. (I usually find grapefruit keep really well on passage.)

The wind has died down to around 15 knots & with it the seas have lessened so we're not rolling around quite as much, although boatspeed is down a bit so our 24hr run is less (only 120ml today). I'd hoped to get the new cruising 'chute up this afternoon, but suddenly realized I had the spinnaker uphaul run wrongly around the forestay/genoa/pole uphaul, so decided to leave it be for today (rather than furl the genoa & bring the pole down to sort it out) since we were still making around 6 knots anyway.

Sunset... and I saw a rare 'green flash' .... a subdued one but it definitely happened - a second or two after the sun had disappeared over the horizon.

Overnight, the wind picked up, as it often has done, so we were making good speed again.

Monday Noon-to-noon run today was 147ml, yesterday's was only 121ml.

A similar lovely day of relaxed, gentle sailing in bright sun. Only a few tiny flying fish this morning.

Lowered the pole to take the spinnaker uphaul over to starboard around the forestay. But with us on a near-dead run, after setting the genoa back on the pole to be goose-winged as before, I decided, as I finally started hoisting the new 'chute, that it wasn't right timing. It was dancing all over the place in its sock & without a spinnaker net up, I reckoned I was very likely to get a big wrap... not worth it. We were doing just under 6 knots still ... so it can wait for another day -at least I've got it all ready now & I expect the wind to die more. It's down well below 15 knots now.

Sorted out another problem - my InmarsatC was not sending messages - turned out not to be a problem with the terminal/modem but the computer... should have guessed...!! I uninstalled & reinstalled the program - all now OK... but took a time to investigate & then sort it out, of course!

I'm looking forward to another beautiful moonlit night - full of stars, peace & quiet. A good time to reflect on life...

Written by : Mike

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