Thoughts from the Mascarene Plateau…..
20 October 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)
As I begin this blog, it\’s 6:45 a.m. local time and I\’ve just had to wipe the spray from the cockpit off the keyboard! It\’s a bit \”boisterous\” out here…:-) We\’ve had two reefs in the main and the staysail up since sunset last night. We were just going too fast and jumping off waves. With the wind and sea then a bit forward of the beam, it was a bit of a \”Mr. Toad\’s Wild Ride\”, hence the small sail plan.
Our southern strategy is now paying off. As the wind has risen to 18-26 knots, the seas have built and going as hard south as we were would now be very uncomfortable. It\’s still a bit wild, but much less so with the wind on the beam or a bit behind. In about 20 hours, we\’ll hit an intermediate waypoint at the Mascarene Plateau,(the big shallow area – which we will stay south of), and then head almost due west toward Cap d\’Ambre. The Cape of Amber (In English), is the northern most point of Madagascar. Our destination will be the Port of Hell-Ville (named after French Admiral Hell!). It\’s local name is Adonay. This is on the small island of Nose Be which means \”Big Island\”.
We\’ve done about 192 nm, much more to Miss Piggy\’s usual standard. Once we turn the corner, we may be able to maintain these type of runs all the way to Madagascar.
Yesterday was good sailing and notably, the current is with us and the sea state for the amount of wind we\’ve had is quite reasonable. We do get the odd 3.5 meter (11 foot) swell; they are sometimes close together.
Noisy, bumpy, but quite manageable. The boisterous weather keeps the unwanted away too! We did see one AIS target yesterday; a freighter heading towards Diego Garcia. They were on a reciprocal course about 30 miles to our south.
We\’ve been in contact with \”Sunflower\” in the afternoon\’s by HF radio; I suspect we\’ll be around 100 miles ahead of them on our late afternoon report?
Not much else to report except Nikki is making sure via celestial navigation that our GPS is really correct…..:-) Don\’t leave home without it! Fresh stores are getting low, it will be good to get to a market when we arrive.
KIT, Scott and Offwatch Celestial Girl (aka Nikki)