Day 91, Year 6 Passage to St. Helena, Day 6-Fair Winds
Date: Sunday, January 23, 2011, 1430 UTC
Weather: Partly Sunny; Winds SE 22-30 AM, SE 15 PM
Temperature: Water 69 degrees F; Air 65 degrees F
Latitude: 28 35.667 S
Longitude: 005 43.755 E
Miles Traveled: 994
Miles to Go: 806.76
Location: Passage from South Africa to St. Helena
The Atlantic Ocean has decided that she should be a little kinder and gentler. At noon today, the winds moderated. The seas are still heaving beneath us, but we are now running wing ‘n wing with the headsail poled out to starboard and the mainsail out to port. This makes the roll a little gentler and the sun is shining. Life is good!
Today when we were talking to Graham on the Maritime Mobile Net he mentioned the fact that we seem to be the only people out here. Truus and Steve on Key of D left the day after we did, but we have only been able to make contact with them once. We’re thinking that they might have headed back into Cape Town or Saldahna Bay (the next port north) when it got so windy. We have seen no ships and talked to no one but Graham since Wednesday. We do see a few birds from time to time, but otherwise all we see and hear is water, water, water. I’m reading a book entitled Atlantic by Simon Winchester and the timing couldn’t be better. This book was published in 2010 and when I saw it in a Cape Town book shop I just had to get it for Mark for Christmas. (I hope he doesn’t mind that I am reading it first.) It is the life story of the Atlantic Ocean. In the prologue, Winchester quotes Arthur C. Clarke as saying, “How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when it is clearly Sea.” From our perspective out here, that is certainly evident.
We have run into a little glitch with our watermaker. We ‘pickled’ (preserving process when not in use) it in Richards Bay as we never use it when in port and we knew we were going to be there for a few weeks. We tried to start it up again yesterday, and it runs but it doesn’t produce water. So either the membrane is clogged or it is not building up enough pressure. So today we are cleaning the membrane which is an overnight process. If that doesn’t work, then Mark will need to do a rebuild of the pump. Sure hope we can get it going. If we can’t, it will solve our dilemma as to whether or not to go to Ascension Island and then the Caribbean or to head straight to Trinidad from St. Helena. If the watermaker is not working, we will have to go to Ascension to fill up the water tanks. Hopefully we’ll know something by this time tomorrow.