RTW Day 113 – we pass Cape of Good Hope just after midday!!
Monday 11th February 2013 Celebrating passing S of Cape of Good Hope midday in bright sunshine and a fairly calm sea
3pm Overnight we gybed and were able to keep up a reasonable speed of just under 5 kt – so did better than expected in the fairly light winds, although course (and Fred) kept having to be adjusted at intervals through the night as wind behind the rainy Cold Front backed more and more to SW from NW.
My face suffered somewhat in the darkness last night – as I prepared to gybe, the boom swung over a bit and the mainsheet caught me full in the face – not pleasant – so we’re a bit damaged around the lips and rather bruised and swollen under the right eye – quite colourful, in fact!! But nothing major, fortunately, so time will heal it all OK. (A tube of ‘anti-bruise’ ointment on board came in handy from my skiing days!) Will teach me to be even more careful in future… must have been half-sleep…
As I was checking in with Graham, ZS2ABK, of S.A.M.M.Net at 1130 GMT (12.30pm), I realized we’d just passed the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope! So I’m celebrating with food from all over – French paté de campagne (from Tahiti last year), fresh S. African coffee, Alaskan (wild) red salmon, biltong from S.Africa (have been keeping that for these Capes’ rounding!), Spanish green olives, Aussie Bundaberg rum from Tasmania and dark chocolate, a fresh (perfect!) satsuma and Christmas cake (still!) from Canada ….and worldwide music…. It’s a lovely, sunny, peaceful day….
Dying wind – so slow going, but at least we’re still headed East-ish and seas have calmed right down compared with overnight and morning. Company is a trio of Atlantic petrels and a new companion over last few days – an all-dark, white-chinned petrel… with a hint of white at base of its yellow bill. It soars around the boat in graceful circles with very little flapping. Even better, and more cause for celebration today, was seeing first a Wandering albatross and then a white-headed petrel – a newcomer I’ve never seen before but distinctive with its eye-catching white head, dark eye patch and dark underwings!
A small high pressure area is definitely going to give a problem overnight and tomorrow as it passes SE over us. I expect us to be badly headed as winds turn to E/NE- but for now, I’m heading just N of E while I can. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll deal with what turns up as and when – if it means heaving to in an effort to maintain position (or at least not to go too far backwards!) then so be it…!! We’ll probably still get some strong conditions afterwards but until they come, you’re never sure just how bad they’ll be, so no point in worrying too much in advance! Being further N usually means winds are less strong than further S. 8.30pm: Just downloaded fresh gribs – looks as though we’ll have just twelve hours of problem winds, with constant sail trimming and changing to port tack in headwinds at some point, as winds of the passing High back from S to NE , but then we’ll be OK, with NNEwinds ahead of another Cold Front not looking as bad as feared by tomorrow evening
Connections for emailing have been fairly elusive yet again today, although mid-afternoon gave a fairly good connection to S.Africa and this evening to Nova Scotia … Frustrating not to have the use of my Iridium satphone to help when radio connections are proving difficult.
24hr DMG at midnight local time (2300GMT): 92 n.ml. Cape Agulhas: 580 n.ml. Cape of Good Hope: 609 n.ml. … My waypoint, due S of C. Agulhas, is just 25 n.ml. away…. but passing S of C. Agulhas (020:00E) might not happen until well into Tuesday morning….. Position at 2300GMT: 44:29S, 019:27E – but we’re drifting NE-NNE at zero boat speed and SOG 1.3kt so could take a long time to pass the Cape!! … but wind should be better by later tomorrow…