April 13, 2011-Passage to Africa, Dispatch #4
Yesterday it moderated but we still had huge waves and lots of rain.
Today it is gorgeous: fine weather, good wind, and, after a few frustratingly slow days, we are finally making great speeds. Judy and Jennifer each covered sixteen miles on their two hour watches today. Right now (Wednesday afternoon) we are speeding along on a broad reach at 7 knots with a blue sky across a beautiful blue Indian Ocean. The wind vane is driving, as it has the whole passage, Judy is cooking, life is good. I even fixed the hydraulic system (but not the boom vang) and marked off eight other items off the fixit list.
Judy's black eye, from where she was thrown across the cabin and hit her face on the bulkhead, looks like it is going down.
And it was shower day. We all had showers.
About the only glitch at this point is the African Sailmail radio station is down and we have not been able to receive weather files, or send or receive emails.
But we are in radio communication with Africa on the Peri Peri net and we are getting some weather information that way. It looks like one or two more days like this then a bit of a southerly on the final approach to Richard's Bay.
That one we need to watch carefully. The Alguhas current flows south along the African East Coast and right past Richard's Bay and in strong southerly winds it gets treacherously rough there. The waves can be ship killers when that situation happens and that one bit is the main reason that South African sailing has such a terrible reputation. So we'll exercise all caution, and if the Peri Peri Net, the radio weather forecasts, or the barometer, indicate bad weather along the African coast we'll turn around and wait till it blows by.
Otherwise our arrival will be Friday night or Saturday Morning.
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