We are currently in position 23 39S 52 20E sailing at 5 knots on a course of 320M. The wind is around 10 knots from the NE with slight sea and swell. There is about 1/8 cloud and it is a nice sunny day. We are sailing under full main and single-furled yankee. Shame we are heading at right angles to where we wish to go! Our day's run was 126nm and we have 1150nm to run to Richards Bay.
The conditions out here are very pleasant but also very frustrating. The wind is blowing directly towards our next waypoint south of Madagascar so we are having to zigzag our way there. Our first zig was misjudged and took us far enough east to get into an area of contrary current. For most of last night we were doing 5 knots through the water but only 3.5 over the ground. Ugly.
At dawn this morning we gybed and headed NW. For several hours we were only making 3.5 knots of boat speed in about 6 knots of wind, but at least our speed over the ground was also 3.5 knots. In the last hour or two the wind has filled in to 10-12 knots and is slowly backing. Hopefully our course will gradually change to the W.
This morning's sked had a fleet of 10 vessels reporting in. There are now two boats at sea behind us which is always good. One will probably overtake us but we hope to stay ahead of the other. Here's hoping our heading W to get into better current (and wind) will pay off!
We've seen a steady stream of cargo ships passing by. So far none have come closer than 3-4 miles. We expect to see more as we approach the lanes around the south of Madagascar.