Monday, 31 August 2015

Rodrigues Inbound Day 14

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 19 07s 65 24e sailing at 6.5 knots on a course of 270M. The wind is 20-25 knots from the ESE with a 2m sea, short 2m SE swell and long 2m SSW swell. We are sailng under triple-furled yankee and double-reefed main. Our day's run was 140nm and we have 115nm to go.

Yesterday the winds remained 20-25 knots all day. Later in the afternoon a line of thunderstorms came over the horizon bringing more wind. By late evening we were down to a handkerchief of yankee and no main, in a squall of 40 knots plus with rain. I left it a little late getting the main down and suffered the consequence of being well and truly drenched while eventually doing so. This squall provided the worst weather we've seen on this passage so far, but not as bad as the gale on our way to CKI. The winds were similar but the sea state not as bad last night.

We continued to sail with yankee only for the rest of the night, rolling and unrolling it as other squalls came and went. With a stiff breeze we weren't rolling too badly and slept very well. 8-10 cargo ships passed us during the night, only two coming into visual range. We appear to have been crossing the lane from the Cape to India.

This morning Nicki was on watch in the companionway while I was at the navstation below talking to Vulcan Spirit on the HF when we were sideswiped. Nicki was drenched, I got pretty wet, and so did the navstation generally. Thankfully the MacBook appears to be OK (so far). We usually have a canvas cover over the nav table but it was off so I could take notes. The breaking wave came out of nowhere and dumped itself on our deck. We had perhaps a second of "freight train" noise before it hit. We were knocked down to beyond 45 degrees but we'll never know quite how far. These breaking waves are a feature of this passage and we've been pretty lucky in avoiding bad ones until this morning.

We anticipate arriving at Rodriguez after dawn tomorrow. Handing the main slowed us down quite a bit and we'd prefer to arrive in daylight anyway, so now we're going to manage our speed to the ETA. That said, the main is back up (double-reefed) and we're sailing along nicely.

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