South Africa to the Caribbean – day 49
Our position at 10.00 (12.00 GMT) Friday 10th March was
on a course of 305T with 90% cloud cover.
Our 24 hour run from 10.00 yesterday to 10.00 today was 172 miles. Average 7.1kts hold to your hats We have 1098 miles to go to Barbados
I’m having a serious sense of humour bypass here. I’ve had several offers of helicopters but it hasn’t bloody arrived!
You can see by our speed what sort of day we had yesterday. F5/6 with 20kts of NE wind on the beam in 4 meter swells. Deep joy.
Sat in the cockpit on watch last night having had a wash and all clean clothes when the boat rolled, a rogue wave caught the starboard quarter and over we went. A massive wave came into the cockpit, straight down my neck, onto the chart table (luckily the computers had been put away) all over the floor, I was soaked to the skin. Bill rushed up to help me down and get me sorted mainly by putting a glass of wine in my hand and getting the emergency chocolate out; I NEEDED chocolate.
It wasn’t until this morning I realised just how far the water had traveled. I have a food cupboard in the bilge with my tins in. They are several boxes Bill made that normally stay dry but the water had found it’s way in and was slopping around the tins. I’ve taken them all out and dried it but they won’t keep, they’ll go rusty. So it’s double chickpeas with every meal now.
After that I finished my watch from below deck just popping my head up now and then to check for shipping.
Shipping, we’ve seen nothing for weeks but last night at 11pm while watching the chartplotter an AIS contact appeared directly on our track. As it got nearer the info came through and it was a panamax which basically means the biggest ship that will fit in the Panama canal. This thing wasn’t measured in feet but was 0.178 of a mile long, 197ft wide and a draft of 71ft and it was coming straight for us. I waited until it was half an hour away but I still couldn’t see it in the swell which, by the way, is now 4 meters. So I called the bridge on the vhf. We don’t usually like doing this because at that time of night they don’t always have someone on watch that speaks English then they have to go and wake someone and it turns into a right performance but I was lucky a nice young man answered. I asked if he could see me on the AIS and he said he could and he was passing port to port as normal. That would have been way to close so I asked him to change his course to port and pass starboard to starboard please. He agreed and all was good. The last bit of the saga was as they were half a mile away from us he called me to ask if I had lights on as he couldn’t see me. I looked up at the mast head to discover the tricolour was out and we had no lights on. I put on some other lights and he said he could now see me. He was massive as it passed in the dark. A close call.
So that’s your lot today. Oh we had a chilli from the freezer that I had prepared earlier. Too bouncy to cook.
All well on board. sort of.
The blog goes through to facebook but we can’t see facebook or your comments. I’ll catch up with them all in the Caribbean. If you wish to email us please use mdqf6 @ sailmail.com (take out the gaps) Stay safe everyone.