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Monday, November 30, 2009

The last 6 K

1900/29th position 3135 00643 with 603 to CT and going sideways

We have been trying to work our way south for the last thousand miles or so but have not been able to do so without going backwards. And so it is still. There is a fierce current, the Benguela, flowing NW from Cape Agulhas south of Cape Town and we are in it and getting knocked sideways at about 3 knots - about half our speed, so about a 45 deg knock. Getting south as far as about 35 degrees would have allowed us to manage this but from up here at 31.36 S there's nothing we can do but accept the situation and hope the wind changes as predicted by the grib in a day or so. Meantime, Namibia here we come. December 5th arrival in CT now looking very iffy indeed.

Otherwise, nothing to report except a juvenile Yellow Nosed Albatross. And a huge empty bulk carrier that altered course around us a couple of hours ago. Tricky when you can't call them up on channel 16 any more - we do have DSC on the VHF but I've never had a positive reply when we have tried to use it so no faith in it yet. With no AIS data, I have to make an 'all ships' call which is a bit less effective, perhaps, than an individual call using a ship's MMSI. Automated bridges fill me with angst. But it does seem that our new radar reflector is working.

Fenwick, ya dozy OF, hang in there for what remains of your dissolute life and the birds will sing again in the trees. Then we will come home and you can buy us a beer. Enjoy the Solomons.

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