Saturday, December 5, 2009
This has to be high on the list of things in the 'not having fun' category. Poor old barge being thrown wildly and violently all over the ocean - 3 reefs, not much headsail, 30 kts apparent massively short steep boatbreaking swell - mostly easterly wind waves piled up on top of the big SW swell from the southern ocean - bloody awful conditions and not in the tourist brochure
About 4 hours later - I started writing this with just wet feet from the leak over the end of my bunk. Then pearshapedness in spades too much crashing, no point in breaking the boat just to get to Cape Town before Christmas - into full party gear and out into the blasting spray to drop the main and lash it to the boom. Murphy's first law of statistics of course in full force and I got soaked, blasted, tossed and turned as I fixed all that and sorted some other snafus at the same time. In and out of the cabin several times but all eventually sorted but one very wet - and knackered - old fart. Ordinary wet weather gear in those circumstances is about as effective at keeping the water out as an umbrella. Time soon to break out the TPS drysuit and helmet...
So a sleep later, the wind has dropped from 30 to about 22 knots, Pete pulled the main back up to the third reef and we are pointing once again directly at Capetown and going sideways - the current is giving us a 60 - 80 degree knock and instead of East, our course over the ground is about 020T and our VMG is less than a knot. And we have 241 miles to go - but cant get east. ETA Capetown after the 2012 world cup? No options but wait for change in conditions - nothing useful in sight on the grib
I could give you detailed description of the simple things in life getting complicated - like having a crap facing forwards and downwards and only occasionally connected to the seat as the boat gyrates and crashes - but I don't want to spoil your breakfasts.
Sue - ok, he stays.
I didn't like this bit of Africa the first time we were here in 2005 and I still don't like it. We are bashing into 25 knots apparent in big SW swell with steep wind waves from the east in rain squalls and grot. I've just put the second reef in and got a faceful of water for my trouble. Bleeah! Almost time to get out the helmet and facemask.
In the daylight overcast, the water looks light grey and it seems to be soapy - Berri's passing seems to create sudsy froth. Odd. Portuguese men of war in their thousands, their tentacles tangled and wound into knots around the safety line we tow astern. Pete put on the rubber gloves and cleared them off but they will be back.
Happy arsebone in the ascendant! That milk crate makes such a difference, as does having the BBC world service.
Doug, if it's not too fraught when we can see the Cape Town lighthouse, if we ever get that far, we'll send Susan Knight some jellybabies - kept some specially for her.
Carol, thanks for passes - thick overcast and grot and no chance at the mo.