Cape Town to St Helena - Day Seven 22 41.593S 004 17.511E

Mike and Liz Downing
Thu 20 Mar 2014 13:22
Crossed the Tropic of Capricorn during the night so are back in the Tropics! However, the weather's not very tropical - it's a grey day, and was overnight, with 100% dark clouds from horizon to horizon. It is definitely warmer, but not hot - the overnight temperature has increased to 22C and the temperature at noon today was 26C. So still scope for improvement! The wind came up overnight to around 25kts, as forecast, and the seas came up with it, but it was never too bad. Kept both poles up as still going dead downwind, but both sails were well reefed and we had very little sail up. Nevertheless we still made around 6 to 7kts and the noon-to-noon run was 157.2 miles; marginally our best so far. The winds have started to ease again today, although the sea is still up a bit.

The moon didn't come up for a couple of hours or so after dark last night and, with the cloud cover, those 2 hours were very black - couldn't see more than a few feet. But I did see a small bird, the size of a small bat (pipistrelle, not fruit bat!) fly round a couple of times. It may have landed, but it was just too dark to see. It was nowhere to be seen when the moon came up and the lights came back on. Even with thick cloud cover, the moon is so bright that its light gets through and you can still see to the horizon. It makes a huge difference.
Another excuse to celebrate - we passed the 1,000 miles mark in the night. Just did my rounds of the deck and threw 10 flying fish back into the sea. Most were tiny and too small to fly high enough to get on deck. They must have been scooped onboard by one of the waves that occasionally bubble up onto the side deck when a following wave causes us to roll.

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: