Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Cape Town Outbound Day 1

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 32 34S 16 30E and saillng at 5 knots on a course of 330M.  The wind is SSE at 8-10 knots with low seas and a 1m SW swell.  We are sailing under full main and single-furled yankee.  There are scattered cumulus and cirrus clouds to the SW.  Our day's run was 121nm and we have 1563nm to run.

We had a great sail yesterday afternoon and overnight, carrying full sail throughout.  The wind gradually backed around to the S overnight and this morning it continued to SSE and lightened off.  Where before we were doing 6 knots we're now struggling to make 5 at times.  We're also broad reaching now where earlier we were beam reaching.  We expect more wind tonight which will be good.

Yesterday afternoon we saw one very large whale while NW of Robben Island.  It's tail fin was enormous when it sounded, and blue-grey in colour.  It was also much longer than the whales we see in Australia.  Tempting to think we might have seen a blue whale but we'll never know for sure!  We also saw a flock of penguins and several seals yesterday.

Today we've seen lots of gannets, several albatross and flocks of small seabirds.  The latter were rather like birds we saw south of Tasmania many years ago (in 2004 aboard Degrees of Freedom).  We also saw a single seal this morning.  Occasionally we see floating clumps of kelp, most of which are thankfully small.

This morning we took part in the HF radio net on 6224kHz at 0600UTC.  A total of 7 yachts took part and they are spread out along the way to St Helena.  US yacht Andiamo is closest to us - only 30nm away to our NE.

We just changed ship's time from UTC+2 to UTC+1, putting our clocks back.  That made our day's run (reported above) close to 24 hours and puts us in the correct time zone for our longitude.  We'll cross into the UTC time zone   at 7.5degreesE and then into the western hemisphere on this passage.

The last time Zen Again was in the western hemisphere was in the western South Pacific in 1997 when named "Zen" with second owner Mr Nishikubo.  She was last in the South Atlantic in 1991 when she sailed north from Patagonia with first owners Mr & Mrs Amanuma and named "Shirahae" (great south wind).  The black track on the map below shows Shirahae's voyage from Japan to circumnavigate South America.  It constantly amazes us to think of where our little boat has been!

The voyages of Yoshio and Akemi Amanuma on two yachts named Shirahae

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