Day Three to Luderitz…..
Cold and Wet
May 21st, 2013 (Eastern Hemisphere)
After we gybed the main yesterday, we were pretty much right on course and had stronger than predicted winds (yet again!). Initially, it wasn’t blowing too hard so we put up the spinnaker again. Shortly thereafter of course, the winds piped up into the low 20 knot range and we were galloping a bit too fast; hitting 9-13 knots. It’s a long boat ride and I don’t want to stress out the boat and the crew, so we took the kite down and went to a single reefed main with full genoa to port (starboard tack). We rode this till mid night on a cold, lumpy dreary day.
Mid night last night, the winds started to shift to the East so we rolled up the genoa and motored. With the mainsail up, we were going around 7 knots. At 6 a.m. this morning, the winds shifted to the NNW at 20-25, right on the nose with 60 miles to go. No fun. We rolled up the mainsail, and bounced for a few hours and the wind has now settled back to 15 knots from the NNW. Still not the greatest ride, but we will be in Luderitz in about 4-5 hours so we’ll get over it.
This is a small coastal low pressure system that the “Skeleton Coast” is known for. It would play havoc with an old sailing ship as difficult as they were to maneuver. With our “iron genoa’s” (aka motors), no worries mate. Currently, there is a much bigger low pressure system out in the South Atlantic and we don’t want to find it. It has the same conditions we are now in, but much stronger with winds to 40 knots. As such, we’ll be sitting in Luderitz and watching the weather to see when the South Atlantic High re-establishes itself and gives us the green light for the jump to St. Helena. Were making water before we get to Luderitz as the harbor is very muddy, I don’t want it clogging up the filters. IF it calms down a bit, we’ll do the wash in the machine and otherwise we’re just reading and relaxing and looking forward to a good night’s sleep inside the well protected bay. We’ll top up fuel and watch the weather. Getting ready for the start of the big jump; off to the mid Atlantic island of St. Helena.
Scott and Nikki