Day 96, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 11-Day of Sail Changes
Date: Friday, January 28, 2011, 1430 UTC
Weather: Overcast; Winds SE 12-14, 16-18
Temperature: Water 69 degrees F; Air 69-73 degrees F
Latitude: 20 59.094 S
Longitude: 002 16.262 W
Miles Traveled: 1493
Miles to Go: 367
Location: Passage from South Africa to St. Helena

Today has been the day of sail changes. After 48 hours of wing and wing sailing without having to touch a sail, today was a chore. The wind speed has been up and down, up and down, all day long, and the wind direction changes just enough that we need to adjust to stay on course for St. Helena. So we went from wing and wing to broad reach to wing and wing to beam reach to wing and wing to broad reach, and on and on. Right now we are back to wing and wing but the wind is definitely more easterly. The Atlantic Ocean high is sitting just below us and is now off to the east toward Africa just a bit, sending those more easterly winds our way. Our friends from Hout Bay, Bruce, Nadine, and Tristen Tedder wrote a day or so ago and said they hoped we were now in the “sunny, steady trade winds.” We have had fairly steady winds, but the sun is something we only see for a couple of hours each day. But we are still making good progress and it is warm enough to be very comfortable. But I must report that yesterday’s recorded water temperature was a mistake. I report only surface temperature as I have to lower an aquarium thermometer into the water and drag it in the wake for a few minutes, always in the shade. If this is done when the sun is beating down on the thermometer, it gives a higher reading. Yesterday I lowered it, tied it off, and forgot about it. While I was napping, Mark took it out and recorded the temp as 71 degrees. But when I asked him about it today, he said he thought the sun was shining when he pulled it out of the water. So that’s probably the reason for the higher temp.

My sister-in-law Sue wrote and asked if there are other boats close by. Good question and the answer is that other boats are head this way, but they are not close. So here’s a quick summary of who is where. Constance, Ed and Lynne, are somewhere between Richards Bay and Simon’s Town. Far Niente, Peppe and Bob, are in Mossel Bay. Odulphus is still in Simon’s Town as far as we know. Adriatica, Karen, CJ, and Douglas, left Simon’s Town two days before us, stayed along the coast and went to Luderitz in Namibia, and are now on their way to St. Helena. The same is true of Key of Day, except that they left a day after us. We had radio contact with Adriatica today and I must admit it was good to hear a familiar voice. Bahati, Nat and crew from Maine, are about a week behind us, as are two Dutch boats, Witchcraft and Jo-Anne. All of these boats are headed our way, but unless they all move really fast, we will have left St. Helena before they get there. Moose, Irene and Duncan, are also back there somewhere, but I think they are headed directly to Rio de Janeiro and will not be stopping in St. Helena. So of the boats we have been traveling with, I guess for now we are leading the pack.

Today was a bread and granola baking day. I smell the granola in the oven which means it is time to go down and mix it a bit, so I’ll end the log for today.

Day 97, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 12-Slow Go
Day 95, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 10-Crossing the Prime Meridian