Monthly Archives: February 2017

Whalesharks

AAAAARRRRGGGGHHH
We just swam with 4 whale sharks!!! I’ll try and get on the internet tomorrow and download some photos on facebook. Unbelievably amazing!!!!

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South Africa to Caribbean – day 14 arrival in St Helena

Our position at 10.00 (09.00 GMT) Thursday 2nd February was in bed!! Haha We are on a buoy at
15 55S
005 43E
Our last day was a good days sailing with a F3 SE wind giving us a speed of between 5.5 and 6.5kts – perfect trade wind sailing, the twizzle rig was out all day. I watched another beautiful sunset at 8pm then as I looked forward to make sure we weren’t going to bump into anything I spotted land. It’s a wonderful feeling to see land after a long passage. I remember as a child my sister and I always tried to be the first to see the sea on the way to our summer holiday and that’s what we are like on passage, I’m always trying to see land before Bill! We continued to our waypoint off the north east corner of the island as darkness fell. For the cruisers coming along after us the island had about half a dozen red lights showing on the island in the dark, none of them are navigation lights, in fact there isn’t a single navigation light to guide you in. We found the island out of position slightly when we pinged it with the radar but that might be that our radar needs calibrating. The island is like Niue in that it falls away quickly and doesn’t have much of a shelf or any beaches. At 3.30 the wind died and Bill put the engine on reaching our waypoint at 4.30. Another hour later and we had made our way to the mooring field, fortunately a couple of boats had anchor lights on because it was very dark. Earlier Bill had got out our 1,000,000 candle power torch to spot the buoy when we arrived and it had tested ok. As we reached the mooring field with the sound of the waves crashing on the cliffs and not being sure exactly where they were, the torch decided not to work! I was up at the bow trying not to shout and wake everyone up while Bill decided to go down below and try and get the friking thing to work as we were drifting closer to the sound of the crashing waves on the cliffs. We knew the position of our allocated buoy but at that point I was just going to pick up any buoy and we would move in the morning but I couldn’t see one (the little hand torch I had was useless). Bill appeared without the big torch working but with the diving torch which is powerful. Finally I could see the buoy in front of us and luckily it was no 25. It took a couple of attempts to pick up the line but finally we got it and the engine went off at exactly 06.00. After making sure the boat was secure we just crashed into bed only to be woken at 10.00 by the harbour master knocking on the side of the boat having brought the customs lady out to check us in. The customs check in took about 10 minutes and was very efficient, we have to go ashore to see immigration. We have changed our clocks to GMT so now we are in the same time zone as the UK.
The journey from Cape Columbine to St Helena was 1679 miles which we did in 283.5 hours or 11 days 20&1/2 hours giving us an average of 5.9kts. So we are about a quarter of the way to Florida. To complete this journey of almost 7000 miles in 14 weeks we must achieve 500 miles a week (easily doable). As the journey from cape town took 2 weeks we have over 700 miles in the ‘bank’ so we hope to spent a week or two here before moving on to Ascension island.
I’ll post more when we’ve been ashore and taken some photos. Thank you to everyone for your emails and comments on our journey.

South Africa to the Caribbean – day 13

Our position at 10.00 (09.00 GMT)Wednesday 1st February
17 07S
004 24W
We have 102 miles to go to St Helena and our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 this morning was 130 miles.

The wind was up and down yesterday with the engine on most of the day. The double gennies were out ready to catch the breeze and finally at 8pm it was strong enough to turn the engine off as we sailed through the night. The forecast is for the wind to remain with us for the rest of the day. It’s a nice gentle F3 so nothing too difficult. So we are nearly there, the GPS says 2am so hopefully we’ll get most of a nights sleep once we arrive. If we hadn’t had those couple of slow days we would have arrived during the day. Our plan for this journey to Florida is to do 500 miles a week. As this leg has taken us almost 2 weeks and we’ve covered about 1700 miles we have some miles in hand to spend a couple of weeks in St Helena. I can’t promise to write every day but I’ll try and post some photos of the journey. We’ve already been told the internet is GBP3.50 for half an hour.

It’s always interesting exploring new places and meeting new people and probably seeing some old friends on the boats already there and the ones due in.

So the journey continues. These blogs go through to our facebook page but remember we can’t see facebook or your kind comments but thank you for them, I look forward to reading them when we arrive. If you wish to contact us on passage please use mdqf6 @ sailmail.com (but take the gaps out) I love to hear from you. xx

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