Sailing around the World ( presently at sea south of Madagascar, heading to South Africa )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 4 Nov 2010 22:45
THURSDAY   4th   NOVEMBER   2010        ( Day  6  at Sea )
00.00hrs   We are crossing the Mosambique channel , just SW of Madagascar,
The wind is blowing 35  /  40 knots from the E and the seas are very , very rough, however we are scooting along at 9 to 10 knots,
Down below, things are flying in all directions, cups, glass's bottles are rattling around in the presses despite all the tea towels
stuffed around them.
We are rattling ourselves, and the beautifull " A Lady " is shuddering under the pressure of it all.
Neil and Skipper are on deck, and there are gale warnings flying in all directions to match everything else.
We even had to venture into the Lazerette to secure the diving bottle , which had broken free of its straps, and was banging all
over the place........... This is an interesting night , like hang onto your knickers.
The weather continued all night, so sleeeping was disturbed and short lived.
07.00hrs, We spoke to " Wild Tigres" on VHF,, the interesting thing about this was not the conversation, but the fact that they
were 61 miles away,  normally we can only get a range of 30 miles at  max. on this radio.
09.00hrs  Radio Call,  :-  " Drammer" was the radio net controller for today, Han's and Emi sail this boat, mostly on their own.
but they have a supberb radio system. and often pass messages from one boat to another.
11.30hrs, The wind has moderated big time, and the sea's are have subsided , the sun is shining and it is very hot.
just beautifull conditions again, so we shook out the reefs, and we get the " Bag of Fear " flying once more.
We covered 200 miles in the last 24hrs, which is great going.
Lunch time, We just had a snack of cheese and biscuits, plus some of the different varieties of tea from Mauritius. all in beautifull conditions.
Crips, to think a few hours ago we were wishing we could pick up the boat and feck off somewhere else.
We cleared out the Lazerette and checked all our steering gear and while we were there, had a look at the rudder gland,
sure enough, it was leaking , so we refilled the grease thing and squeezed in plenty of it to the gland, and after a few seconds,
the water stopped dripping,    success................
15,00hrs, The wind shifted more into the north and we were unable to maintain our course to Richards Bay, so we had to drop the
" Bag of Fear " on deck , and set the Yankie and staysail,  ( the 2 headsails, The Yankie being the big one  )
Our friend Ingrid from Germany confirmed the other three Islands that are bigger than Madagascar,  No. 1  Greenland, No. 2 Indonesia,
and No.3 is Bornio,,, that our schooling for today,  well done Ingrid for that.
We had lots of emails , Skippers brother Rom sent ( as usual ) a very entertaining one about an Aerlingus flight from London to Cork last friday.
we also heard from Arnaud, Lorna, Ciao, Margaret How, Michelle, Seun, ( of " Liberty at Sea " ) Dermot , Alfred and others,
We still have not heard from Fats in ages,  we must have insulted him. but he is giving an after dinner talk next Sat night  6th
in the RCYC about his experiences on " A Lady " for  slix month''s..
17.00  we have travelled 919 n miles so far on this trip. with a complete mixture of weather.  The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly,
18.00  we ran out of wind, so we reved up the engine and motor sailed, no sooner had we got going, but we passed a pod of Whales,
we identified them as Blue whales and they were close to us, about 150m off our port side.
Dinner was slow cooked belly pork and crackling, plus chicken drumsticks, plus baked beans, plus creamed spuds,
and lorry loads of butter, just to make sure the cholestrol gets a good feeding....................
23.oohrs, the wind picked up again, so off with the "  Iron Sail" and we scooted along once more under sail, happy out.
Aileen did the 10  to 00 watch, followed by skipper on the 00 to 02 watch, followed by Neil, then Terry, and finally
on the 06, to 08 watch, collette.
Thats all for today ,,   Slan ,
Signed :-  Stephen Hyde   ( Skipper )