POSITION REPORT ON SUNDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2018
POSITION REPORT ON SUNDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2018 AT 0700
So far we've done 105 miles with 1,685 miles to go to Jacaré, Brazil. We did 105 miles in the last 21 hours. We have 10% cloud cover and 8-14 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.
24 February 2018 St Helena to Brazil (Day 1)
After a lazy start to the morning, we pottered about getting the boat ready for the 1,800 mile trip to Brazil. While I still had the dinghy in the water, I attached the Hydrovane rudder and untied the mooring lines, looping them through the mooring ring for easy release. After lashing the dinghy on deck, we dropped our mooring at 10:30.
St Helena is a large, high island and severely disrupts the prevailing SE winds, so we had a frustrating time for the first 4 hours, with the wind veering around all over place. We motored for an hour and then tried to sail, but after gybing a few times, we gave up and motored-sailed until 14:00. By this time, the wind had settled down to ESE 6-12 knots and we were able to sail wing-on-wing with the genoa poled out to port, albeit only at 3 to 5 knots.
As soon as we’d left the mooring, I put out two fishing lines, hoping to catch something while we were close to land. A Brown Booby took an interest in our lures and dived down to catch one. Unfortunately, it managed to get the hook through its wing. I reeled in the squawking bird and lifted it on to the aft deck.
The Booby was not happy, snapping with its vicious 3 inch long beak at the lure and at me as I tried to get close. After several attempts , I managed to drape a towel over its head and pin it down so that I could extract the hook from its wing. I lobbed the bird overboard and it seemed to be okay, floating for a minute and then flying off towards land.
The light winds continued throughout the afternoon and into the night - at times we’d manage 5.5 knots, but at other times we’d be down to 3 knots. I suspect that this is going to be a long slow trip. If we’re lucky we might be able to average 5 knots, which would mean 15 days at sea – an average of 4 knots will be 19 days.
For once, we seem to be starting a passage at a good phase of the moon. We had just over half a moon tonight, with a full moon in 6 days’ time, so we should have moonlight on most nights. Tonight was lovely, with 50% cloud cover. A one point on my 7-10 watch, I heard the blow of dolphins and could just see them, jumping out of the moon-dappled water at the side of the boat.