Day 360, Year 5 Passage to RICHARDS BAY, Day 7
Date: Friday, October 22, 2010
Weather: Beautiful Sunny Weather; Winds ENE and NNE 15 to 20
Latitude: 25 48.969 S
Longitude: 035 00.125 E
Miles Traveled: 724
Miles to Go: 241 to Richards Bay, South Africa

Yeah! Yeah! We’re on our way to Richards Bay. Today is Lynne’s birthday (H and I think she must have made a secret birthday wish that caused that cold front to move more quickly than anticipated, taking the feared southwest winds with it. Actually, that will happen during the night and early morning and by the time we get near Richards Bay tomorrow night, all should be well. I have called Lynne the “wind whisperer” since our trip from Thailand to India. When other boats just in front of us and right behind us were having high winds and seas, we were scooting through on calm seas with moderate winds. Her magic didn’t work quite as well on the way from Chagos to Madagascar, but maybe she was saving her wishes for a time when we really need help. And this was the time. We are so relieved that we won’t have to stop in Mozambique. Not because we wouldn’t like to see it, but we are tired and ready to get on with exploring South Africa. You never want to count your chickens before they hatch, but it really does look like we have a small window before very strong northerly winds arrive in Richards Bay late on Sunday and then strong southwest winds on Monday. The window is narrow, but we think we can climb through it.

In the meantime, we are rockin’ and rollin’ across the Mozambique Channel and down the Agulhas Current. During the night we had a knot of current against us. We were sailing wing ‘n wing all night long and at 1 am we had to put a double reef in both the main andyankee because the winds and seas were building and it became very uncomfortable. I seem to be able to sleep through anything, but when Mark went down at 10:30 pm he got almost no sleep. He finally got up at 1 am and sent me down to sleep until 4 am. Sailing wing n’ wing requires constant vigilance when the winds are varying from 8 knots up to 24 knots constantly. Today has been steadier with 15 to 20 knot winds all day with a two knot current pushing us along. The seas still cause us to rock ‘n roll but we are so anxious to get to Richards Bay that it doesn’t seem all that bad. Both of us got naps today and we are ready for another wild ride tonight.

Day 361, Year 5 Passage to Richards Bay, Day 8
Day 359, Year 5 Passage to Inhaca (maybe), Day 6