Day 356, Year 5 Passage to Ile Europa, Day 2
Date: Sunday, October 17, 2010
Weather: Clear Day, Winds WSW 15-20
Latitude: 19 35.877 S
Longitude: 042 45.391 E
Miles Traveled: 117 (miles made good-91)
Miles to go: ~ 210 to Europa
Jimmy Buffet needs to write a new sailing song for us about zig-zaggin’ across the Mozambique Channel. Yesterday I said that it was 341 miles to Europa, and that was taking into account that we can’t go on a straight rhumb line, but it may well end up to be many more miles for us. I said yesterday the winds were predicted to come from the south, the southwest, and the south-southwest, but I didn’t know at the time that we were going to have strong west southwest winds all day today. We traveled south, then west, then south through early morning and have been on a slightly north of west course all day running tight to the wind. Of course we need to be going southwest. The winds have been strong all day and are predicted to get even stronger tonight. At some point, we will turn south to southeast, and then back to northwest. Our track really does look like a zig-zag, but eventually we will reach Ile Europa or somewhere! Running so tight to the wind makes us heel over quite a bit, but we have reefed the main and headsail to make things a little more comfortable and are moving along at about three and a half knots. There’s nothing dangerous about any of this. It just isn’t the most relaxing passage. And we always worry about the strain on Windbird, but she seems to roll with the punches. We love this boat. Constance is about ten miles south of us and they are in a strong setting south current. We have between one and half to a knot of current against us since leaving Nosy Andrano, but unfortunately we are not being set south like Constance. Odulphus is a bigger and heavier boat than Constance or Windbird and is a ketch, so she could not point as high to wind as we could and had to turn back. We expect to hear them on the net tonight reporting they are back in Nosy Andrano waiting for favorable winds. So it is once again just Constance and Windbird on passage. Odulphus having to turn back reminded us just how well matched Constance and Windbird are at sea. At the current rate, we will reach Europa on Wednesday, making it a four-day instead of a two- to three-day passage, but right now that is fine with us as long as we make it there safely.