Reunion to Richards Bay Day 2 - Better weather sailing
Position 23:40.10 S 051:40.40 E
Date 2359 (UTC+4) Saturday 05 November 2016
Distance run in 24hrs 169nm over the ground, 163nm through the water
Leg total 277nm over the ground, 266nm through the water
To go to Richards Bay, South Africa rhumb line 1,129nm
Route distance 1,395nm as originally planned
Dawn brought a much improved looking day with bright skies, the swell down to 2.5 metres and from the east which with wind gradually decreasing from 25 to 16-17 knots also from the east made for a much more comfortable ride. It is amazing how much better life looks after the rather brutal start to the passage. We were now able to get into the “at sea” routine that has become so familiar to us. Reasonable progress was made and for the afternoon and evening as the wind backed we were able to set the pole to windward, initially well forward of the beam, carrying the poled-out genoa. Wing on wing with the main and mizzen set to starboard and the wind anywhere aft of 120 degrees apparent this makes a comfortable and fast combination. One of the things that we have learned in six year of ocean passages is that cruising chutes and asymmetrics are generally best avoided when short-handed sailing, this combination is much easier to get up and especially down in rising winds.
On the food stakes we have been lunching off some superb artisan ham and bread that was given to us as a parting gift by our French/Reunion sailing friend Ludovic. We first met Ludovic in Rodriguez when he arrived having sailed single handed the 500nm to windward from Reunion. Given the large seas and 25 – 30 knot trade winds at that season this was quite an achievement. His reason for going to Rodrigues – to attend a kite surfing course! What else!