Maurtius to South Africa Day Three - 24 16.457S 052 59.428E
Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 3 Nov 2013 15:02
Light winds have continued, going very light overnight. In fact they dropped out completely and the engine went on for just over an hour to stop us wallowing and keep up 5kts. However, it went off as soon as there was enough wind to sail again. We really don't want to use much fuel at this as it might be important to have plenty in reserve for the final stages. So most of the time until daybreak we were sailing between 2.5 and 4kts, and it was quite a challenge to get close to 4 - constant sail trimming the whole time. At first light it was overcast and a menacing black bank of cloud stretched right across the sky ahead of us. It was a weather front and we decide to wait until we approached it before making any decision re changes in sail. It clearly was going to have wind associated with, but what that might be we would have to wait and see. In modern speak, it was definitely going to be a significant wind event! At that point we still had our outer genoa poled to windward and our inner genoa sheeted normally, but no main and were considering putting the main up. As we slowly closed the front (2.5 to 4kts is not quick!) it very slowly started to thin out. By the time we reached where it was, it wasn't! It had slowly melted away and the significant wind event, was very insignificant, if not non-existent! The sky was now clear and it was the beginning of another lovely sunny day. The wind increased to around 12 kts and still under both genoas we've been making 5-6kts most of the day, in a slight sea. Very pleasant sailing. The wind has been backing round from the NE to N and now NW and to keep our course the windward genoa is down and the main is finally up. The first time on this passage and we're making around 5 1/2kts. The noon-to-noon run was 106.6, so we're not going to break any records on this passage and it's a little frustrating, but so far it's been very pleasant sailing and we are quite content with that. Hope it continues. A tropic bird was eyeing up the tow generator on and off early this morning. Whether it thought it's food or whether it's disturbing the water and bring potential food to the surface, who knows. It stopped doing it as one of our measures to go a bit faster was to pull in the tow generator. There is a drag factor and when we're going really slow that doesn't help, and it doesn't generate much electricity then either, so it's a mass of twisted rope (it continues to turn as you bring it in) on the aft deck. The crew is very good at untangling it!