Reunion to Richards Bay Day 7 - Squaring up to the Agulhas c urrent
Position 28:04.82 S 035:39.74 E
Date 2359 (UTC+4) Thursday 10 November 2016
Distance run in 24hrs 181nm over the ground, 182nm through the water
Passage total 1,200nm over the ground, 1,110nm through the water
To go to Richards Bay, South Africa rhumb line 199nm (modified route)
Route distance 1,395nm as originally planned
Another day of motor sailing, as before keeping the average speed up to ensure a good arrival time, which may be in the dark bit of Saturday morning. The weather warnings for Richards Bay for next week are dire so after arrival nobody will be going anywhere by boat whilst the advancing forecast storm passes through.
During the day, we had our own excitement with a line squall of some 10nm depth passing over us. This produced lots of rain, wind of 30 gusting 35 knots and a lively sea. The wind was dead on the nose and progress was for a period reduced to 2-3kts in 50 metres visibility. I refer to the earlier diary entry about deckchairs and pina coladas – in your dreams sunshine. When all of that stopped, normal service was resumed and we had excellent motor sailing for the rest of the day. We have moved the waypoint that we are using for crossing the Agulhas current some 20nm south of the original position which shortens the distance to go by some 30nm. The Rally SSB net has been very useful in allowing us to talk with other skippers, especially Carrango, like us an Amel 54, who left 18 hours before us and are currently 85nm ahead and Brizo who are a mine of useful information. Carrango is reporting conditions ahead so that if necessary we can adjust our course. The important point for us, is not entering the south flowing Agulhas current too close to Richards Bay where it is very strong, producing rough conditions and with the danger of being swept past. If we go too far north we might get calmer conditions but add more distance.
The next entry is likely to be written when it is all over.