Heading South from Durban - Day Four - 34 58.205S 020 04.635E
Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 11 Dec 2013 15:20
Having rounded Cape Agulhas we had 80 miles or so to go to Simons Town and with the wind still behind us, going too fast and would arrive in the middle of the night. So we've reefed both headsails to slow down to about 5.5kts and hopefully that should get us in at first light tomorrow morning. Most of the trip has been in overcast skies, but last night we had stars for the first time and a moon for a while, and today has been sunny. With a clear sky at night it's been more than a bit chilly (downright cold!). So we've been well wrapped up in our foul weather gear, with a blanket on top! So when on watch we've been all snuggled up and with a little tranny listening to all the tributes to Nelson Mandela which have been played throughout the last few nights. Being no more than 20 miles off the coast, we pick up a few of the main radio stations. Perhaps it was due to the moon being out, but we had no phosphorescence whatsoever last night. What we did have was a lot of commercial shipping, all heading to go round Cape Agulhas. Most of the night we had 10 or more ships showing on AIS and had to call up a couple, both of which changed course for us.
We (and all the other yachts) were apprehensive about the sea state around Cape Agulhas, but the weather was kind and with the wind at around 15-20kts the sea state was not a problem. The wind and waves have bent round the Cape and are both right behind us as we go north west, which is good. The wind might come up later to 30kts or so, but if it does, being right behind us is the best place for it! The noon-to-noon run was 133.2 miles, almost identical to yesterday. Not surprising really as once we had worked out how many miles to go and at what time we wanted to pass the Cape and arrive in Simons Town, we've been controlling the speed to make those times. With the wind behind that's not so difficult to do.
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