Cape Town to St Helena - Day Six 24 08.553S 006 39.271
Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 19 Mar 2014 15:38
It was a funny night. The wind did come back up, but it was much more gusty than normal and it was difficult to get the sail plan right. Both poles stayed up all night, but very little sail was poled out each side. In the lulls between gusts, that could last minutes, the speed dropped down to just above 5kts, which is too slow, but during the gusts, that could also last several minutes, it was up well over 7kts, which was too fast (for the sea conditions), and we surfed down a few waves at over 9kts (much too fast!). So it was difficult to get it right. The seas also came up with the wind and we did have to be careful not to go too fast. Things have settled down during the day and the wind and sea have dropped. The noon-to-noon run was 148.5 miles, so good enough. With the winds easing this afternoon, the sea has gone down further and we've been reaching 7.5kts in comfort with little trouble. The winds are forecast to come up again this evening, so we'll reef well down again. After that it looks like the winds will go lighter for several days.
It's another day for celebrations - we've passed half way! We opened a big packet of caramel popcorn - who says we don't know how to celebrate in style!
So far we've done the passage very much on our own. Most of our friends are either already in the Caribbean or well on the way there. But Dave on Eliana visited Namibia and only left for St Helena yesterday. We've been in email contact and he's 320 miles behind us, so we hope to talk on the SSB and meet up once there. There's one boat that we know is still in South Africa and they hope to follow in our wake next week. So we're not the last swallow heading north before winter after all!