Reunion to Richards Bay Day 1 - Heavy weather sailing
Position 21:54.45 S 054:01.23 E
Date 2359 (UTC+4) Friday 04 November 2016
Distance run in 14hrs 20min 108nm over the ground, 103nm through the water
Leg total 108nm over the ground, 103nm through the water
To go to Richards Bay, South Africa rhumb line 1,296nm
Route distance 1,395nm as originally planned
The start in light winds from the north west compared with the forecast of 30 knots from the South East meant that we motor sailed to get out of the wind shadow and shelter of Reunion. When the sea and wind arrived, at about 1115 it did so with abrupt force. Everything was well in hand as we reefed down until the genoa furler ceased to function with the sail about half in. This necessitated an about turn and run back into the lee of the island where we were able to heave to and fit a new drive belt. We hit our turn around point, and the wind and seas a second time at 1420
The next ten hours were to say the least challenging. With triple reefs in everything including our stomachs we ploughed on against 4 metres seas on the port bow and winds of 30 to 35 knots on the port beam. Definitely a case of water, water everywhere. The boat coped admirably and we ploughed on with hourly runs of between 8 and 9 nm. Even with a couple of hours at 3kts whilst we sorted out the furler issue we still managed to average 7.3kts for the period Towards midnight the sea eased a little and we were only being washed by the occasional wave. Once again we are so thankful to have a solid dodger and hard top to keep out most of the wet and wind.
The Mate has prepared 8 days’ worth of meals, stored away in the freezer. Chicken in a cream sauce with pasta, also pre-cooked, meant that we could eat well without the complication of too much pan bashing.