Friday, December 4, 2009
Yesterday - On the port tack in Berri with any sort of heel, there is nowhere comfortable to sit and relax. Nowhere. You are constantly braced by legs, arms, eyebrows and the poor old arsebone and we've been on the port tack seemingly for ever. With no prospect, for the moment, of any change. Necessity and adversity being the mothers of invention, Pete had a brilliant idea and our now largely redundant coolgardie fridge milk crate is upended on the floor next to the galley with a folding cushion on top and we have a seat. I know where there's an arsebone overflowing with joy and happiness!
We are 25 miles south of Africa - in the Southern Ocean - and to emphasise the point, we're in big rolling swells with wind waves over the top. Heading SE, more or less directly into the current and picking the time to tack is a tricky and somewhat arbitrary decision. We have 317 miles to go, directly upwind and across the current yet we don't want to get too far south to the natural lay line because the developing low to our WNW seems to be deepening rapidly and is predicted to move north, producing 25 knot easterlies down here. And, to make it even harder, we just got a little lift, so the other tack will be a bit less efficient in the VMG department.
Middle watch this morning - Anyway - all seemed cool and froody so tried a tack and - oh joy! - the combination of wind and current gave us a 90 degree tack and we're pointing at southern Namibia instead of the Gulf of Guinea like last time and there is the prospect of a lift later. But it may not last - things seldom do out here! Lots of very big ships going around the end of Africa each way. Spoke one going east - surly and uninterested but confirmed he could see us at 7 miles on radar - reassuring! The new reflector seems to work.
With the radio once again randomly functional, I have a Cape Town MW station and the Beeb world service dialled in and we have human voices again. The very first voice I heard was some guy reporting in broad Australian from Melbourne. So there ya go.
Sue - would you like me to despatch Pinkbok for Xmas tree? I think he'd be relieved!
John and Sherryl - great to hear and good luck with Matangi and new lodger!
Robin - gotcha - Pete will write
Tim - thanks for generous offer - separate email follows/precedes this post.
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