Tuesday, 23 February 2016

St Helena Outbound Day 1

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 15 37S 007 41W and saillng at 4-5 knots on a course of 280M. The wind is SE at about 8 knots with a calm sea and a short 1.5m swell. We are sailing under full main and single-furled yankee. Scattered small cumulus clouds. Our day's run (1400-1400) was 124nm and we have 3761nm to go. The day's run is pretty good considering the light winds of 8-10 knots.

Last night was very pleasant sailing along under a full moon in quite calm seas. The swell was enough to knock the wind out of the sails occasionally but otherwise it was perfect. Zen Again sails very well in light airs, even when packed full of cruising gear, food, fuel and water.

In the early hours of the morning a small pod of dolphins played around the boat for 15 minutes. All I could see was small patches of white water in the moonlight when they broke the surface. I could hear them blowing all around the boat. It's always nice to have friendly company.

This morning we heard a couple of boats on the HF/SSB. They departed St Helena last Thursday and have a day to run to Ascension. I had a chat with one of them and confirmed the main net is taking place daily at 2000utc on 4146kHz. One of the two sails at about the same speed at us in light airs, so we may end up close to them if they spend 3-4 days at Ascension. Other boats are leaving St Helena later this week and at least one has the same destination as us. They'll overtake us gradually.

Today it's a bright sunny day. It is about 30C below decks - getting a little warm for sleeping so the fans are on. It's nice on deck provided one can find a shady spot in the cool breeze. The solar panels are doing a great job.

As on our last passage we are using the Aries vane gear to steer. It is doing a great job even in these light conditions. Glad I found that loose bolt at St Helena!

Trust all's well where you are.

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