Monday, 26 October 2015

Reunion Outbound Day 5

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 26 42S 46 42E and saillng at 6.5 knots on a course of 320M. Our course over the gound is 300M so we have a significant SW-flowing current. The wind is ENE at 18-22 knots with 2m seas and the remnants of the S swell from yesterday. We are sailing under double-reefed main and triple-furled yankee. There are scattered cumulus and currus clouds overhead. Our day's run was 150nm and we have 790nm to run.

Our day's run wasn't bad considering the light winds we had yesterday afternoon. The engine was shut down at 1600 and we then sailed at about 4 knots until 1900 when a new SE breeze came in. It gradually built up to 20-25 knots with occasional rain showers.

For most of the night we were under single-reefed main and triple-reefed yankee. It was great to be sailing fast again with the wind just behind the beam. We had current with us and I saw 10 knots of ground speed once. This morning a line of cloud came through with rain and a wind change to the ENE. We tucked in the second reef in the main and then gybed. We had 25-30 knots of wind for a while.

I got a free salty shower on deck while freeing the lazy jib sheet and disconnecting the boom downhaul prior to the gybe and then refitting the downhaul and reorienting the dorade vents after. I'm well clipped on while doing so but going up to the bow to free the lazy sheet is always wet. The sheet stickss under the staysail furler. Must find a way to prevent that.

We are judging our course very carefully as we round Madagascar. The currents are strong in places and we don't want to find ourselves with a strong E wind against a strong E current. That wouldn't be fun. So far we've picked it quite well, which really means the current and wind data we're downloading has been quite accurate - in direction if not so good on strength.

We've seen a steady stream of cargo ships over the last 24 hours. The shipping lanes converge here so that's no surprise. We only had to hail one ship to ensure separation and he was very helpful. He made a change of course of 2 degrees which kept him 1.5nm clear.

The temperature is very pleasant hereabouts. A few degrees cooler than E of Madagascar which makes the days mild and the nights slightly cool. Perfect for off-watch resting.

Trust all's well where you are.

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