Saturday, August 28, 2010

Up the conveyor belt

Since we left Reunion, everyday I notice that we cover less and less
distance over the ground, although Papy Jovial seems to be going quite
the same, except for one night when we had numerous showers, whirling
wind and erratic course.
But today was the worst. Every time we looked at the speed on the GPS,
we were getting figures 2, 3 even 4 knots below that of the speedometer.
Eventually, I decided to request a grib file showing the currents, which
I rarely do as the grib file is a lot heavier, takes more time to
download and therefore costs more, with the sat phone at $ 1.20 per minute.
But it was worth it. We discover (I should have checked that before
leaving Reunion, when we still had a fast internet connection) that
there is a strong current going down the east coast of Madagascar, which
when it gets further south turns back and create a strong counter
current in which we got caught. We had sometimes more than 3 knots
against us, and the day turned out to be a miserable one in terms of
progression towards our destination. Anyway, having found out about it,
we altered course so as to cross that counter current as quickly as
possible and then move into the favorable one. Hopefully, we should get
into that current before midnight and then take advantage of it fore
around 100 miles.
So far, the weather still looks OK for us to proceed directly to Port
Elizabeth rather than stop in Durban. Early days yet, this can change.

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