Posted by: catamarantwooceans | January 19, 2010

To St. Helena

9.1.10 – Saturday – Gunter came over for breakfast and to say goodbye and at 1000 local time we went out, moving our clocks one hour back to agree with the longitude.

When we came into Luderitz we had the jib and ballooner furled together, now it was time to take the latter down. When we did we noticed that a part of the system on top of the furler was bent so we took the whole thing down, jib and all, to replace it. This all took quite a while and when we hoisted the jib again we found out that the wind has died on us. During the day we motored then sailed slowly with light wind, getting into the long passage routine of eating, resting and watching the boat. Sometime after dinner we saw a bright light on a collision course at 2 o’clock position. We tried maneuvering this way and that but the strange craft just kept coming. Finally at less than 2 miles they called on VHF, identifying themselves as a trawler and giving their course. We passed a quarter of a mile in front, apologizing.

10.1.10 – Sunday – In the last 24 hours we did 118 miles. Not so great!

11.1.10 – Monday – 132 miles in 24 hours.

12.1.10 – Tuesday – 155 miles in 24 hours – Sailing with the twin foresails all the time. It’s getting better!

13.1.10 – At midnight I came up for my watch and found Miri and Zulu monitoring a big ship passing to our port at slightly less than a mile. When that threat went away I saw that the “Twins” were furled a bit and that the wind abated. Consulting with Zulu, I unfurled them and promptly the ballooner slid down the stay onto the deck and partly into the water. We manhandled it back on board and into its sack and proceeded with just the one jib. In the morning we had to work about two hours to fix the “Twins” system. By then the wind veered so it was time to put the booms back in place and sail with all the sails on one tack. Last 24 hours – 147 miles. Time for another clock adjustment, the last before St. Helena.

14.1.10 – Thursday – Every morning at 0800 UTC I check our progress; Last 24 hours – 147.5 miles. The wind asked for the Twin system again but the ballooner did not connect to the top and we had to give up. Jib only again and the boat is rolling in the swell making about 5 knots. Later we get better wind and speed.

15.1.10 – Friday – Last 24 hours – 165.5 miles. We collected four flying fish on deck. Zulu was not aware that they could be eaten! We grilled them for lunch and they were very tasty. Not a lot of life is apparent in this section of the South Atlantic. No birds at all, just a few flying fish and some fluorescent creatures seen during the night. Although trolling every day we are not catching anything! Then suddenly a pod of small dolphins makes an appearance and is lost again in the vast ocean. At 2330 we passed 0 degrees longitude.

16.1.10 – Saturday – Rainy day! 153.5 miles in the last 24.

17.1.10 – Sunday – The 24 hours run was 146.5 miles. This is accomplished with just the jib, but the wind is becoming lighter and Zulu decides to fly his Code 0, light wind sail used at wind speed of up to 13 knots apparent. When it goes up – speed increases significantly. We go into the last night expecting to reach the island’s anchorage just before noon the next day.

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