Saturday, 27 February 2016

St Helena Outbound Day 5

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 13 41S 015 09W and saillng at 6 knots on a course of 340M. The wind is ESE at 20-25 knots with a 2m SE sea and a 1m S swell.  We are sailing under double-reefed main and double-furled yankee.  Broken mid-level clouds with scattered rain-bearing cumulus.  Our day's run was 150nm, our DMG was 109nm and we have 3331nm to go.

After the Rainstorm Yesterday Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon the wind gradually built to around 20 knots, with more in rain showers.  One of them caught us and the decks got a nice wash while we reefed the main.  We sailed overnight with one reef and a well-furled yankee.  In the early hours of the morning we put the second reef in as another cloud came over.  Quite an ugly seaway had built up but thankfully the swell is quite low.  Kazi the Aries vane gear handled it all very well indeed.

Between the regular shipboard activities I've been trying to get our Winlink radio system working.  I've described it in previous posts but briefly Winlink is a global system which allows licensed amateur radio operators with HF radios to send and receive emails.  I've had a problem with the program (RMS Express) not recomputing propagation information as we move.  Colin (ZS1RS) who runs the Cape Town station and Jo (PY4LF) who runs the Brazillian station have been assisting me via email (sent using the Iridium Go!).  They have both been very helpful and we seem to have fixed that problem.

Winmor session in progress

Another problem has been using the Iridium Go! from RMS Express, a feature they have added recently.  Still working on this one.

A topic of conversation on the yachties' radio net recently has been the best route along the South American coast.  Boats ahead of us report good wind and excellent current inshore of the Fernando de Noronho islands.  So that's where we now plan to go.  We've modified our route accordingly which had a minor effect on our distance to go.  At this time of year the ITCZ is along part of that coast so we basically sail along the coast in a nice positive current and hope not to meet any really bad storms in the ITCZ.  A couple of boats have sustained sail damage there already, so we plan to be very cautious, particulary at night.

Trust all's well where you are.

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