The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Fri 16 Feb 2018 08:36



16:59S 03:37W


So far we've done 1,300 miles with 135 miles to go to St Helena – we should be there tomorrow midday. We did 125 miles in the last 24 hours.  We have blue skies and 6-10 knot SSE winds.  We’re sailing wing-on-wing doing 4 knots with a ½ metre swell.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


15 February 2018   Namibia to St Helena (Day 9)

The wind was a little fickle first thing in the morning, but the breeze filled in nicely and by 09:00, we were back to 10-15 knots and doing 5 to 6 knots, with blue skies.  Glorious.  At 07:00, we only had 260 miles to go, so we should get in the day after tomorrow. The forecast is still for the wind to drop tomorrow, but fingers crossed, we’ll still be able to sail.


Having passed the Greenwich Meridian yesterday, we put our clocks back one hour after breakfast – we’re now on Greenwich Mean Time.


I put out our fishing lines and, ten minutes later, was rewarded by a small Dorado.  It was soon dispatched and filleted ready for dinner.  Later in the afternoon, we caught another couple of small Dorado at the same time – we must have passed close to a shoal of them.  All three fish that we caught today were small females with roe – we really must find some pleasant way of eating the fish eggs.


The wind gradually dropped during the afternoon and past sunset but we were able to maintain at least 4 knots boat speed.  At 01:00, the wind started to veer about and I gybed the genoa a few times, but then the wind dropped below 5 knots. It was pitch black so I couldn’t see, but I was hoping that this was a local cloud bank causing the problem. However, after 20 minutes of slatting sails and drifting, I had to turn on the engine.


An hour later, the wind came back – it was some damn cloud system causing the squirrely winds. Thankfully, we had steady winds until dawn, averaging 4.5 knots boat speed.