Deep into the South Atlantic
Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sun 21 Apr 2013 00:04
We managed to tear ourselves away from Namibia on Wednesday and have enjoyed a lively start towards St Helena. We were delayed a couple of days while we tried to sort out a problem with the pressurised water system and get our outboard running sweetly. In the end we thought we had cracked both problems but, no. We have no hot water in the forward heads and a raucous motor. It could be worse. Friends in a large catamaran left Luderitz, suffered auto-pilot failure, an involuntary gybe, snapped lines and broken gear. They are turning back to port to wait for a suitable weather opportunity to return to Cape Town. They reckon repairs will take four to six weeks. I mention the sad tale only as a reminder that there is always something happening in this cruising life; it’s said to be part of the fun, but does not always seem funny at the time.
Our new sail is a beauty – very well built, nicely finished and setting smoothly. We get the impression performance is improved, particularly with the wind forward of the beam. Not that there has been much of that; we have been running in 25 – 30 knots, gusts to 35 knots and moderate seas. It has calmed down somewhat now but this has resulted in more flapping, which is un-nerving; it was in these conditions that the old sail fell apart so we are a bit sensitive to flapping.
It is about 1225 nautical miles from Walvis Bay to St Helena and we have already covered 550 of them. We hope to arrive next Friday or Saturday.