Friday, 26 February 2016

St Helena Outbound Day 4

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 15 31S 013 54W and saillng at 6.5 knots on a course of 340M. The wind is ESE at 15-20 knots with a 1.5m SE sea and a 1m S swell. We are sailing under single-reefed main and double-furled yankee. Scattered cumulus clouds. Our day's run was 150nm, our DMG was 110nm and we have 3440nm to go.

Yesterday afternoon the winds remained SE at 10-12 knots. Later on banks of cloud came over and most of the night was overcast. Bigger clouds brought a little rain and more wind. At 0330 we dropped a reef in the main as the wind had increased to 20 knots, gusting to about 25. The wind also backed to the ESE so we gybed onto stbd tack.

Since gybing we've been heading almost directly for our waypoint near the Fernando de Noronha islands. They're off the tip of South America. We expect to get into some good current between them and the coast which should stay with us well up the coast. As we go north along the coast we'll be passing through the ITCZ (or doldrums) so expect unsettled weather there. That's still 10-12 days away.

This morning the wind has settled down and we're going along very nicely with the single reef still in. Unless the wind is quite light we prefer to have the reef in and furl/unfurl the yankee and the wind changes. Much less work for both us and Kazi the Aries vane gear.

Yesterday evening's HF/SSB net (6224kHz at 1900utc) had 6 yachts on the air, two of whom have not yet departed St Helena. One of them had just departed Ascension and will be a couple of days ahead of us. There is also a net running on 6224kHz at 0800utc, with 4 yachts on the air this morning.

An advantage of heading north is that our solar panels get the sun all day. When heading west they lost the sun for much of the afternoon due to the shade cast by the mainsail.

Trust all's well where you are.

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