Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cape Town Outbound Day 6

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 25 33S 07 48E and saillng at 5-6 knots on a course of 000M. The wind is SSE at 8-12 knots with a slight sea and an increasing 2m SW swell.  We are sailing under full main and single-furled yankee.  Overcast sky.  Our day's run was 140nm and we have 950nm to go.

Dawn this morning

Just after posting yesterday's blog we gybed.  We found ourselves on a course of 040M which was giving us zero VMG towads St Helena so we gybed back onto port.  We stayed on that tack until 0200 this morning, by which time we were heading 300M.  The wind had also picked up a little so we gybed through a smaller angle to 000M - much better!

Overnight the skies gradually clouded over until we had complete overcast.  No stars, and it was a moonless night anyway, so it was very dull compared to previous nights.  We made good progress nonetheless.  Around dawn some breaks appeared in the cloud (as you can see in the photo) but these closed up an hour later.

Despite the overcast our two 130W solar panels are charging at 10 Amps.  Very good performance.  In cloudless conditions we get over 15 Amps.  If the batteries are low we get over 20 Amps.  On this passage our 440Ah house battery bank has been varying between 62% and 87% full which is very good, and that's without running the engine to charge.  We do run the engine every other day for 20 minutes just to make sure it's in good shape.  Our Xantrex LinkLITE battery monitor is very helpful in showing battery state.

Thirteen yachts reported at this morning's sked.  They range from one at St Helena to one which departed Simon's Town yesterday, with a couple enroute from Namibia.  The net has a reach of over 1500nm N-S.  It's good to be able to plot the location of other yachts and see we're getting closer to some of those ahead.  They're all bigger than us ;)

Sometime tonight we expect to pass into the UTC time zone as we pass 7 30E.  That will be a bit of a milestone.  Next of course will be passing into the western hemisphere.

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