The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sun 11 Feb 2018 07:49



22:28S  07:10E


So far we've done 500 miles with 835 miles to go to St Helena. We did 158 miles in the last 24 hours.  We have 90% cloud cover and 10-12 knot SSE winds.  We’re sailing at wing-on-wing doing 5 knots with a 2 metre swell.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


10 February 2018   Namibia to St Helena (Day 4)

There was much more cloud around in the morning, but the wind remained at SSE 15-22 - it was great sailing, but we were rolling madly.  The weather forecast is for these winds to remain for 24 hours and then to drop slightly.  It looks like 10-18 knot winds for the next three days, so we should make good progress. 

The sea temperature has risen by another couple of degrees to 18.5°C - the water is definitely getting more Tropical because we started to see Flying Fish today.


We received a few emails from family via our satellite phone – it’s great to know that we’re so easily in touch with people ashore.  Our son Craig, asked me for some advice on investing some savings that he’s accumulated – it seemed very surreal to be writing to him about UK tax, Pensions and ISAs when we’re in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.


The SSE 15-25 knot winds stayed with us all day – at times we were surfing at 8 knots.  In the late afternoon, we skirted around a huge submerged mountain called Ewing Seamount, which rises from the sea bed at 4,500 metres up to a peak at 850 metres.  Although there was no danger of hitting it, we were a little wary of encountering confused seas and large waves where the prevailing north-west-setting Buenguela current is deflected up the steep slopes.


Before dinner, I chatted to Stefan from “Sabir” on the SSB radio.  They left 24 hours before us and had a very bouncy start to their passage with big 3 metre seas – totally different to our rather calm start.  They’re north of our rhumb line and only 40 miles ahead of us, so we’re slowly catching them up.


At sunset, I rolled away the mainsail and we ran down-wind with just the genoa poled out to port.  It was a dark, rolly night, with no surprises, apart from two Flying Fish who flew onto our deck.  I managed to grab both of the smelly beasts and return them to the sea while they were still alive.