The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Wed 14 Feb 2018 07:32



19:04S 00:24E


So far we've done 933 miles with 402 miles to go to St Helena. We did 150 miles in the last 24 hours.  We have blue skies and 10-18 knot SSE winds.  We’re sailing wing-on-wing doing 6 knots with a 1 metre swell.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


13 February 2018   Namibia to St Helena (Day 7)

The fabulous sailing conditions continued through to dawn and then lasted all the day. The forecast is for this good weather to last for another three days, which is great.  At my 07:00 progress check this morning, we’d covered 140 miles in the last 24 hours and had 550 miles to go.  If this weather keeps up, we’ll arrive on Saturday 17th – only 4 more nights to go.


Despite the benign sailing conditions, we’re both feeling a little weary because of the constant three hourly interruptions to our sleeping patterns. We’re sleeping more during the day now – Glenys has at least three hours in the morning and I have the same in the afternoon.  It doesn’t help that the motion of the boat is so soporific .


The sea temperature has stabilised at 21°C and it’s pleasantly warm during the day, so I’m hoping that we’ll be able to go snorkelling in St Helena.  We’ve not been in the water since leaving Madagascar in October last year. 


Alas, we’ve had no luck with the fishing today, but we only had one lure out.  I’ll get motivated tomorrow and stick out another line.  With no fresh fish on the table, Glenys dug out a tin of salmon and made a very tasty Salmon Lasagne for dinner.


Once again, the 10-15 knot winds continued after sunset giving us mostly pleasant sailing conditions.  The clouds built up on my 1-4 watch and we had a heavy shower giving us 20 knots of wind – not a problem, but the weather is getting more tropical and we’ll have to be more wary of strong squalls as we get further north towards the equator.


We were attacked by Flying Fish during the night. They look lovely with their silvery blue wings glinting in the tropical sun as they glide above the waves.  However, they are very slimy and stink to high heaven.  Several times, we heard a big thump as an 8 inch fish hit the coach roof at 30 miles per hour.  They then flail around, shedding scales, desperate to get back in the water.  By the time we’ve grabbed it and thrown it overboard our hands are covered in stinking slime.


One hit the windscreen, giving me a right old scare and another hit the cockpit coaming, so hard that it ricocheted over into the cockpit and proceeded to flail about on the seat.  I tried to grab it, but it flipped onto the cockpit floor.  I tried to grab it again, but it flopped towards the companionway way.  Panic - if it got down below, it would cause chaos.  Fortunately, I managed to grab it with two hands and heave it overboard.