The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Tue 15 Aug 2017 04:30



18:10S  051:25E


So far we've done 276 miles with 124 miles to go. We did 138 miles in the last 24 hours.  We have 10% cloud cover and 12-16 knot SSE winds.  We’re sailing along on a broad reach at 3-4.5 knots with 1.5 metre seas.   Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


14 August 2017   Reunion to Ile St Marie (Day 2)

The day started grey, but at least the rain soon stopped. By 10:00 the clouds had moved north leaving behind blue skies and 15-20 knot south-east winds.  By midday, the wind had dropped to 12-18 knots, so we pulled the mainsail out to port and ran downwind wing-on-wing.  The seas reduced to 2 metres and in the afternoon, we had idyllic sailing, albeit a bit slow at 4-5 knots – fortunately we had at least 1 knot of current with us, so we were making reasonable time.


Glenys was still feeling bilious, so she slept for a few hours in the morning and had another nap in the afternoon.  The rest did her good and she was feeling much better by sunset – well enough to have some dinner.  Hopefully, she’ll be back to normal tomorrow.


The good weather continued through the night, but the wind dropped a few knots and reduced our boat speed to 3 - 4.5 knots.  It was lovely when the half-moon came out at midnight, but it’s cold on the night watches.   During the day we’re wearing shorts and t-shirts, but when the sun goes down, on go the fleeces. In the strong winds last night, I ended up wearing a fleece, a jacket, long thermal trousers and even a pair of socks.  Tonight was a little warmer with the lighter winds – no need for long trousers and socks.


It’s amazing how attuned one becomes to the sounds of the boat. Alba doesn’t have many rattles or creaks, so a new noise is very noticeable. Tonight there was an intermittent creak/click on the mast a couple of times a minute.  I knelt next to the mast for ten minutes (at 01:00) and worked out that it’s the mast bracket for the rod kicker moving very slightly when under extreme loads. I don’t think that it’s a problem because I reinforced the fitting a year ago and the annoying sound went away when I reduced the tension on the rod kicker.