Half Way to Luderitz…..
May 20th, 2013 (Eastern Hemisphere)
Yesterday started out with light winds and predicted to essentially drop off to very little. However, as I have come to learn, the timing and direction of the GRIB (Gridded Imbedded Binary Files) that we use as computerized weather is accurate. The strengths of the winds are not.
Usually, the strengths are under reported by around 5 knots, sometimes a bit more. Yesterday we had winds of 15-25 knots most of the day. The computer said 12 and dropping.
As such, we flew the spinnaker with the full main and all systems worked well. We had some exhilarating surfing between 9-12 knots. As we\’ve a lot of ocean to cover, I didn\’t want to shake our rusty sail handling out in the middle of the night, so we took it down at sunset.
The direction of the winds is taking us a bit offshore, but we\’ll gybe this morning when Nikki gets up and be headed almost exactly at Luderitz. We\’ve 200 miles to go and should be there by tomorrow afternoon.
Someone quickly knock wood, all systems seem to be working just fine (thank you very much!). A few little bug-a-boos. Our new wind speed/direction instrument is too quick to react and we haven\’t been able to dampen it. I also think it\’s out of calibration and is reading the winds a bit too high.
My \”eye\” sees 12-14 knots on the water, the instrument says 18-21 knots. Looks good, but isn\’t as helpful as it should be.
It was COLD last night. We saw 49 degrees F!!! (9.4 C), It\’s now 0745 and still pretty chilly. No clouds but lots of haze for which this coast; known as the \”Skeleton Coast\” is famous for. Heavy fog like London or LA can be the norm. Yes my UK friends, LA gets heavy fog! (And the water is COLD!).
The Skeleton Coast was so named as in the old sailing days, lots of ships wrecked here in the low visibility conditions. It didn\’t help that the area was virtually unpopulated for hundreds of miles north of Cape Town up the coast to Namibia and Angola.
The day before we left Cape Town, a 46 foot Catamaran on a delivery across the Atlantic hit that heavy fog off Dessen Island. They went aground where the boat still is! Two out of every three catamaran\’s in the world are made in South Africa. Almost all of them sail across to the Caribbean or to Europe; most for the charter markets. Robertson & Caine is the world\’s largest manufacturer and makes all the boats for the \”Moorings Charter Group\” of which \”Sunsail\” is the parent. They have lots of boats leaving Cape Town all year round. Some with more experienced crews than others!
The sun is rising, the coffee is hot, the generator purring.
KIT, position report out in about an hour.
Scott and Offwatch Nikki