Day 5 Position 19:37.0N 22:28.61W The curse of the dead Iridium

Gwenhyfar's Travels
Fri 29 Nov 2019 15:52
After Lunch we gybed west and crossed the stern of Mustique and the Challenger boats - all of whom are in our racing class.

We have been having problems with our Iridium Satellite communications and whilst we can send data we only receive small files and consequently weather reports for the wider Atlantic region are not available to us. So we are navigating with limited weather information - this makes it difficult for us to follow a big picture strategy.

We had our sundowner on the foredeck and chatted through our options. We each drank a San Miguel beer or Naranja juice as the sun set at 18.41 hrs. (Gwenhyfar is still on UTC)

David served up an excellent supper of Ravioli with a pesto sauce. Question. Where are these culinary skills coming from? (Answer below)

Twilight and we were charging along at about 8.5 knots with big kite, main, mizzen and funny sail. A bit rash to have such a big sail plan at night, but after 3 days of very light airs and we were happy to be moving fast! In the pitch black darkness we passed the stern of a large square rigger of 144 feet on her way to Mindelo in Cape Verde. Through the evening we tried resetting the Iridium and still had problems.

At dawn we passed again the Frederyk Chopin the big square rigger. She looked to be straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean - she rose high and dipped low in the long Atlantic fetch. We found some small improvements to our communications, had the pirate ship lifted the curse of the Iridium?


But fortunately our good friend Colin from home port base in Guernsey came to our rescue and sent through some detailed analysis of the weather patterns to the south and west of us. Jan and Simon then managed to piece together a path through the light airs which we all thought might work well. Basically we plan to continue to head south and close the Cape Verde Island where we expect better winds. From there set a westerly course to St Lucia. We hope to avoid the big wind hole that is tracking south across the race rhumb line.

The last 24 hours have seen Gwenhyfar sail well in very light breeze. We are becoming more happy with our progress.

Days run 168 miles


Answer; a packet and a jar.