Saturday, 31 October 2015

Richards Bay Inbound Day 10

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 28 53S 34 47E and motor-saillng at 6.5 knots on a course of 300M. The wind is N at 8-10 knots with a small sea from the NNE. We have the full main hoisted and the yankee unfurled - they're giving us about 5 knots of our speed with the engine just "topping up". Our day's run on the log was 153nm and we have 145nm to go.

It "does one's head in" living on a small boat with the engine running, but it beats having to ride out the gale which is coming our way. We're making better progress than expected and our ETA is now late tomorrow morning. The gale isn't predicted to arrive until Sunday evening. Unlike many weather systems, southerly busters go from no wind to gale in minutes, so we won't have to cope with a building wind. In fact we'll probably have a good NE sailing breeze to take us in.

Yesterday afternoon was mainly cloudy with occasional periods of sun. Overnight the cloud cleared away and we enjoyed the moonlit sky. Unsurprisingly, we listen to a lot of music when motoring. It partially drowns out the engine noise and when seas are low we have been known to "get up and boogie". For long passages we try to exercise on every watch. When it's rough it's pushups and squats, not to mention just plain hanging on. When it's calm it's "disco". ;) Sorry, no video and no demos!

This morning we transferred three jerry cans of fuel into the main fuel tanks to ensure we have plenty of fuel to get in. Turned out to be a very straight-forward operation since the seas are quite low.

Over the last 24 hours we've had as much negative as positive current. We're now heading into an area where we should get positive current. Hopefully that will come to pass.

We spoke with Sam of the South African Maritime Mobile Network on 14316kHz this morning. He was extremely helpful, checking for us that the SA Weather Service forecasts match the GRIB files we're downloading. SAMMNet is for licenced amateur radio operators and it appears to offer a much better service than Peri Peri. That may be partly due to Peri Peri's main frequency being "jammed" by someone transmitting morse code over the top of them. Who ever is doing that needs something explosive up their antenna.

We are back in the coverage area of the BBC World Service so can get world news. Seems nothing's changed, but we do like to know that's the case!

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