Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The skeleton coast

Getting out of the Saldanha Bay was as entertaining, comfortable and
fun than a tooth extraction. For those who are familiar with the cuts on
the east coast of Florida and Georgia, it felt very much like it. Choppy
seas (but 12 feet if you please), and no wind. So we had to shamefully
get out of there motoring and keep motoring until noon.
This is when the real party began. At first, sails up and crawling at 3
knots. Did not last. Very quickly, we were back with our familiar 35 to
40 knots, swell on the beam at about ten feet. And it has remained like
that since.
The temperature is very chilly and the atmosphere damp. During the night
it dropped to 61 and Olivier put on socks for the first time since we
left Sydney. I had my Icebreakers on, and still felt cold.
The good news, because there is always good news to anything, is that
despite the slow start, we did 168 miles in the first 24 hours. I hope
the wind will stay with us as far as possible towards Luanda. I had
noticed before we left an area of light winds all around Luanda,
extending almost 500 miles from it. We have diesel to come in, but I
would rather not burn my fuel going out as we need it to go through the
And to make the day a perfect one, Olivier caught a 25 pounds yellow fin
We now have ahead of us another chilly night in the shaker. We are
caught between a low over the Namibia desert and a high southwest of us
(some 500 miles west of capetown). There is also this cold benguela
current that we are seeking to push us northward, but we have not found
it yet. Maybe tomorrow. Still 1430 miles to go and we have been asked to
do our level best to get there for the week-end 23/24 October. Not
likely, but who knows, it only takes wind.

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