Monday, 24 August 2015

Cocos-Keeling Outbound Day 7

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 16 16S 82 44E, sailing at 6 knots on a course of 260M. The wind is 15-20 knots from the ESE with a 2m SE sea and swell. We are sailing under full yankee and double-reefed main. There is a thin layer of broken cloud overhead which is letting the solar panels charge fairly well. Our day's run to 0800 was 149nm and we have 1125nm to run.

This morning we rolled our clocks back one hour to UTC+5 which explains the 0800 above. We aren't quite at 82 30E but we chose to stay in sync with Vulcan Spirit to avoid confusion over HF chat times. We just have to keep our eyes on UTC to ensure we don't forget to run the Indian Ocean Crossers' sked at 1200UTC this afternoon.

Yesterday the wind held in at 18-22 knots all day and most of the night. It's amazing the difference a few knots of wind speed makes to the height of the seas. Where yesterday we had about 4m combined sea and swell, today we have only about 2m. Much more comfortable! I suspect there is even lighter wind further south which may explain the large difference.

Last night was quite pleasant. For half of the night we had the half-moon creating a "stairway to Rodriguez" ahead of us. When the moon set we had a nice starry night for several hours until the cloud started moving in. For the first time on this passage we both slept our entire 3 hour off-watches.

The sked last night had 5 yachts on the list and we managed to get all their positions. They cover an area from 1/2 way to Rodriguez to near Chagos to CKI. Their nationalities include Australian, British and Swedish, with US and German yachts joining tonight when they depart CKI.

We expect the wind to decrease further over the next day or two. If it does we'll shake out one of the reefs to keep the boat moving well. We think we remember how to do that!

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