Monday, 7 March 2016

St Helena Outbound Day 14

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 07 22S 029 02W, saillng at 5.5 knots on a course of 290M. The wind is E at 12-16 knots with a slight sea and a 1.5m swell.  We are sailing under double-reefed main and full yankee.  Broken low cloud with rain showers have given way to scattered cumulus.  Our day's run was 114nm, our DMG was 100nm and we have 2433nm to go.

We have completed our second week at sea so here are some stats.  First our speed plot for the passage to date.  Note that this shows speed over ground, not distance made good.

Zen Again Speed Over Ground - Passage to Date

And here are the stats:
  • Log Distance = 1878nm
  • Average Boat Speed = 5.6knots (decreased following our change of strategy)
  • Distance Made Good = 1455nm
  • Average VMG = 4.3knots (increased following our change of strategy)
  • Engine Hours = 14 hours (charging only)

Yesterday afternoon the lightish winds continued but we kept the boat moving OK.  It was a cloudless afternoon and quite hot.  The water temperature is now 29C and on sunny days it is hot and humid below.  The fans are on 24/7.

Overnight the winds picked up to 10-15 knots and the skies clouded over.  By midnight we were starting to have occasional light rain showers in complete overcast.  The wind varied from 6 to 20 knots.  The dark night may have contributed to our seeing lots of bioluminescence in the water and particularly in our wake.  Lots of tiny greenish lights in the water - spectacular.

This morning we've had more rain showers and have gybed twice as the winds backed and veered under them.  We're no longer heading straight down the track but we're making pretty reasonable progress considering the strength and direction of the wind.

I've been continuing to exchange emails with Colin the Winlink system operator in Cape Town.  He has created a set of waypoint files for OpenCPN.  Each contains all stations with particular capabilities (Pactor, Winmor etc) in their global network.  Great idea, especially given the software doesn't illustrate station location at all.  I'm hoping Colin will make them publicly available.

Winlink Pactor Stations (in magenta) in OpenCPN

Several ships have passed by over the last 3 days so we appear to be crossing the shipping lane to/from the Cape of Good Hope.  We only had to speak to one on the VHF to confirm he had changed course to avoid us.  The others passed several miles clear.

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