Mauritius towards Richards Bay - day 6
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sun 21 Oct 2012 07:20
The sky is overcast and uniformly grey. The sea is rather “lumpy”, and grey. The wind is light and fluky; the main is pinned in tight, the genoa is filling and flopping and the engine is ticking over to keep us moving. We have a knot of current against us - it has been as much as three knots. The watch-keeper is under the spray-hood keeping out of the fine drizzle. Nothing much is happening. I am dreaming of East Cheam, 23 Railway Cuttings and the late lamented Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock.*
It seems eons since we left bright, breezy Mauritius and we are only just over half way. On the planning chart it looks simple; just SW to the bottom of Madagascar, turn right and you’ll soon be there. But it’s 1500 miles; a long passage with changing conditions, starting in the tropics and finishing in a region of strong, variable winds and ferocious currents. Those excitements are still to come. We have been listening in to the local cruisers’ “net”. Some boats are triumphant – they are about to reach their destinations. Others are seeking shelter in Madagascar or Mozambique but we are not quite sure why. There is talk of strong winds round a “low” coming up from the south on Tuesday and Wednesday but it is not yet clear how or whether they will affect us. Until now we have enjoyed some periods of sparkling sailing but rather more than we should like of very light conditions resulting in much flapping and some motoring.
But it is not all gloom on JJ Moon. In about 70 miles the current should turn in our favour. It is not Hattie Jacques and Sid James down below but the redoubtable Mags and fisherman Jim. Mags is making an aromatic Masala sauce to go with another generous helping of succulent mahi mahi for lunch.
It’s Sunday - but things are beginning to look rosy.
* Apologies to younger readers.