Mauritius to South Africa Day Nine - 27 59.789S 040 16.758E

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 9 Nov 2013 16:10
A light-wind day, overnight and all day with 10-12kts of wind from WSW. Not an ideal direction as we want to go west and it's forcing us to go north west. With the outer genoa and full main we've been making around 4 to 5kts close hauled, so we are making progress with a noon-to-noon run of 116 miles. As I write we have 415 miles to go. The forecast suggests another light day tomorrow, but then much stronger (possibly very strong) winds from the north, so regaining our lost miles to the south shouldn't (we hope!) be too much of a problem.
Saw our first albatross yesterday evening (first since New Zealand that is). Other than the occasional noddy that comes close, we've not seen much bird life at all, or any life for that matter, other than ships. Talking of which, the Maersk Innoshimma was on a collision course with us early this morning. It's a 750ft container vessel and traveling at 22kts! Most ships of that size or larger seem to only travel at around 10 to 14kts, so 22kts is racing along. It was going to Port Louis, which we left 9 days ago. Talking to the watch keeper it was going to take them just 3 days! And that was in total, from Durban, we still have several days to go! We decided to call him early as I was about to go to bed (again - these encounters always seem to keep me from my sleep!) so called him when 25 miles away, a very big distance to call and suggest a ship might like to change it's course, but they were quite happy and said they would give us a wide berth, which they did. Tried it again with another ship later today and a Russian voice just came back and said we'll change course when we see you! Some you win, some you don't!

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