Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Richards Bay Inbound - Hove-To

Hi everyone,
For those who follow our position closely, please note that our slow movement over the last few hours is due to our being hove-to.

We hove-to in dramatic style at about 0300 this morning when we took a lightning strike. Our autopilot tripped out and the boat gybed all-standing, putting us in a hove-to position on the other gybe. After a bit of tidying up we decided the boat knows best and let her take a rest, and we did too.

The lightning strike was the crescendo of 6 hours sailing through a massive system of thunderstorms. From about 2100 we had frequent sheet lightning and occasional bolts of lightning. The wind stayed around 25 knots until 0300 when it jumped up to 35 or so and we became the "focus of attention".

As far as I can tell the only damage is to the SeaTalk network used by the primary autopilot, plus the AIS's GPS is not working so the unit can't transmit. We're still receiving AIS info. We've checked our VHF with a passing ship and will shortly test the HF.

We've just had a cuppa and breakfast. The morning HF sked is coming up so I'll warn boats downwind of the approaching excitement. Then we'll see about getting underway again using the backup autopilot which seems to be OK.

Trust all's well where you are.

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