Maurtius to South Africa Day Four - 25 40.506S 051 18.593E

Mike and Liz Downing
Mon 4 Nov 2013 13:14
Overnight the winds continued to back round to the northwest, then to the west and increased a little until we were close hauled on a starboard tack making around 6kts. Then this morning at around 08.00 we had another significant wind event, but this time it was indeed significant. As before the black clouds stretched across the horizon in front of us, but this time the cloud went all the way down to the sea - it was a black curtain of rain and there was no avoiding it. So through the curtain we went, still on a starboard tack making around 6kts and with in 10 minutes we were close hauled on a port tack making 6 to 7kts, and still on the same course. The wind had switched from the west to the south just like that and was 15 knots before the front and 15 knots after the front. We were lucky, it's often a lot stronger when cross fronts. The rain was heavy, but didn't last long and we were soon heading out away from the clouds and rain into better weather. The southerly has started to back towards the east and the forecast suggests that will continue over the next 24 hours and stay ESE for a while, which will be good for us if it does, as once sufficiently far south, we will turn to the west. For a number of reasons, which I will explain on another day, you don't want to get too close to Madagascar, so we're giving it a wide berth. Since the southerly change, the sea has been a little more lumpy and every now and again we get a southerly roller come past. The noon-to-noon run was 126.6 miles, better than we thought it would be, and as I write we've just passed the 500 mile mark (sailed from Mauritius), so just over 1,000 miles to go.

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