Friday, 11 March 2016

St Helena Outbound Day 18

Hi everyone,
We are currently in position 04 20S 034 56W, saillng at 5.5 knots on a course of 350M. The wind is ESE at 12-16 knots with a slight sea and short 1.5m SE swell. We are sailing under full main and double-furled yankee. Scattered small cumulus. Our day's run was 114nm, our DMG was 111nm and we have 2043nm to go.

We have passed our waypoint off Cabo Calcanhar and the next is in the Caribbean! Unfortunately we were too far off the coast to see any lights - not even their looms. We're having to take care navigationally since there are a number of shallow sea mounts and a few islands between the mainland and Fernando de Noronha.

Yesterday afternoon the winds remained light. Overnight they lightened further, reaching 6-8 knots around dawn. At that stage we needed to run the engine to charge batteries so motored for an hour. Happily a bank of cloud came over which brought a new wind which built up to the 12-16 we have now.

Overnight we had a little assistance from current, probably less than 0.5 knot. Now we have around 0.5 knot of west-flowing current. We expect this to increase to at least 1 knot as we get further west.

We are now half way to the Caribbean in terms of route miles and hopefully beyond half way in time. If so we should complete our passage before Easter comfortably. We won't finally decide where we make landfall until we're much closer, so these posts will become "Caribbean Inbound Day N" from tomorrow.

For the last couple of nights we've a few seen aircraft passing overhead. That's something we hadn't seen at all since Cape Town. Also our friendly sooty tern came back to visit, perching this time on s/s lifeline. He helped himself to a freshly stranded flying fish, made an even less attractive deposit and finally flew away at dawn! He left a feather as a keepsake.

Trust all's well where you are.

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