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Sun/Mon 7/8thOct07 Mixed sailing conditions - & yet another boat hanging off my stern!

Sun 7thOct07 - Thanksgiving in Canada - hope you all enjoyed it!

It's been a really mixed day today - one moment clear blue sky and lovely calm sailing, then suddenly there's a grey cloud nearby, wind (and seas) are up - do I reef or not...??? If I do, doubtless it's all over very soon & I have to let it out again... but good exercise, I suppose!! And if I didn't reef, I'd probably be wishing I had....! Very difficult to keep the boat going at a good speed in these mixed conditions.

Not a lot else to report, been rather lazy, in fact, pottering around, clearing/cleaning, reading, almost getting on with the whipping I've been promising myself to do(!).. but I have finally managed to source some local weather info - so that's good.

Another busy radio 'Net' in the evening with more boats joining in - all good fun & very sociable! 5 of us singlehanders, 3 couples and one with a family of four - and 1 or 2 other boats about to start off on passage from Cocos & so also joining in.

24hr run to midday: 167 n.ml. by log (148 from GPS posns)

Mon 8thOct07

Had a shock last night when I popped my head up into the cockpit to find not only was it raining.... but there was a boat close astern of me, not too far off my starboard quarter - felt like a re-run of two nights ago...!! I couldn't figure out what it was doing - saw several lights (close enough that they were reflected in the water!) but no navigation lights - so didn't know for sure which way it was going. Felt it was stationary and was quite relieved when the wind got up well enough for me
to put on good speed and sail away from it - its lights receded slowly into the distance - yet another fishing boat?.... from where??.... Indonesia or India or Sri Lanka?... or from the Mascarene Islands I'm headed towards?... Could have been from any one of those or even further way, although it looked relatively small - definitely not a cargo ship. I was pleased when its lights disappeared over the horizon!

It was another very 'bumpy' night with the seas consistently around at least 4m and regularly crashing into us - so another rather disturbed night's sleep. I find that having two reefs in the main works quite well - enough canvas to make reasonable speed most of the time in the good winds but not too much that we were over-canvassed when the wind picked up around the frequent rainclouds.

We seemed to clear the rainclouds by mid-morning and I enjoyed a bit of warm sunshine - I'd had to put on a fleece earlier!! Now we're back into rather cloudy conditions, but no dark squall clouds around just now.

I had to do quite a bit of cleaning and washing - with the banging & crashing, several items had jumped off the gimballed stove top & spilled so the galley area is, once again, for the moment, nice and clean & I've some washing hanging up to dry in the saloon!!

24hr run to midday: 161 n.ml. by log (152 from GPS posns) 810 n.ml. to go to Rodriguez.

(Can't understand why we seem to have current against us when it should be with us - begin to wonder if log needs re-calibrating - despite having done that in San Diego earlier this year.)

Written by : Mike

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