South Africa to the Caribbean – day 6
Our position at 10.00 (09.00 GMT)Wednesday 25th January
We have 1012 miles to go to St Helena and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 160 miles.
We have been able to keep sailing for the last 24 hours. During the day the wind remained at F4 but we kept the reefs in the sails as the forecast predicted the wind to pick up again in the afternoon. At about 4pm the wind started blowing 18 to 20kts, which was F5 again, and backing more SSE. We were flying along at 7.4kts. By sunset it went more SE and was now coming from dead downwind, so we needed to put the twizzle back up. (I’ve had people asking again what the twizzle is. If you take a look at the technical pages on the website there’s an article that Bill wrote on the twizzle but basically we fly 2 gennies on a twin foil which are attached by poles to the ‘twizzle link’ that Bill invented. It’s independent of the mast and is supported on an uphaul. It looks like a butterfly and gives us our speed when we are sailing downwind.) The process is turn engine on, take gennies in, prepare poles ready for deployment, turn into wind and take main down, turn back out of the wind and deploy poles on the gennies, turn engine off, reset course and trim the sails. Unfortunately the stronger winds had brought the sea up and the boat was pitching about on the sea making it difficult for Bill on deck. It gives me an enormous sense of impending doom when he’s working on the deck and I’m running through my mind what I would do if he went over the side all the time he’s out there. It took us about 45 minutes to get it rigged correctly with Bill precariously perched on the deck raising poles etc while I pull in all the bits of ‘string’. The wind dropped about 10pm but unfortunately the sea was about 2 to 3 metres and we had a very rolly night and didn’t get a lot of sleep. There was great excitement this morning that the ‘miles to go’ log is about to become less than 1000. Amazingly that’s the distance of a trip across the Biscay from Cornwall to La Coruna in Spain and back!
There was a panic yesterday afternoon because Bill’s computer crashed. My computer is already in the UK waiting to be mended and my old computer isn’t capable of running airmail or the Iridium system, our main means of communication. Bill managed to get it running again but it’s very slow. We’ll have to nurse it to St Helena and see if anyone can take a look at it there. Meanwhile I managed to write this blog on it.
No milestones, no ships, no wildlife so that’s your lot for today!
So the journey continues. I hope these blogs are going through to our facebook page but remember we can’t see facebook or your kind comments. If you wish to contact us please use mdqf6 @ sailmail.com (but take the gaps out) I love to hear from you. xx