Rio to Cape Town

Day 31 – Almost home

Day 31 - Almost home We awoke to wind at 0520 and attempted to sail the gennaker on a broad reach but within minutes the wind was gusting to 22 knots so we quickly bagged it and continued to sail on a down run averaging aroung 7 knots. By sunset we looked set to do 180nm in a 24 hour period . We passed Bolero in the dusk and realized that Cape Town was within reach. This will be the last blog for ... Read more

Day 30 –  The lull

Day 30 -  The lull The day started with a gentle north east wind. In order to keep pushing forward we needed to do a series of tacks but it was slow going and we could not afford to use the last of our diesel for motoring, estimating that we only had about 15l left which we needed to conserve for our arrival in Cape Town. An error had been made in deciding not to replenish our diesel reserve in Tristan. We used ... Read more

Day 29 – Sighting Bolero

Day 29 - Sighting Bolero The night sky was clear again and those interested have spent quite a bit of time getting to know the names of the stars and the constellations above, and a fair amount of competition arises in naming them accurately. At 0500 Bolero called us up on the VHF but, despite receiving their transmission clearly, we were , for some reason, unable to send. At 0900 we sighted Bolero on our port side, but repeated attempts to contact them ... Read more

Day 28 – Ships in the night

Day 28 - Ships in the night During the night we were passed by two large bulk carriers. The AIS smartplotter is proving very useful in early alert and identification of vessels. It is quite surreal to see a ship pass by silently in the dark. There is an inner desire to make contact with the crew, to reach out and touch the rest of the world. Another phenomenon that intrigues Jane is the phosphorescence that jumps and sparkles in the heads when ... Read more

Day 27 – It wasn’t kelp!

Day 27 – It wasn’t kelp! The day dawned without a cloud in the sky. At sunrise we sighted a large pod of small whales – or were they dolphins? After consultation with Ash, our resident marine biologist, he declared with 100 percent confidence that he wasn’t sure. So we scientifically named them “whalphins” We were satisfied with that. By 1100 the wind had stirred to a NW 11 knots and we pulled the spinnaker out of the bag and successfully hoisted her ... Read more

Day 18 – Gone Fishing

Day 18 – Gone Fishing We had a peaceful night at anchor off Tristan. We were woken up in the early hours of the morning by the Tristan lobster boats going out to fish.The weather was perfect and apparently the boats only manage to go out to fish for about 40 days of the year due to adverse weather conditions. Erik, from fisheries sent a boat out to collect Ash and Jane to go fishing with a local crew for the day.It was a ... Read more

Day 17 – Heaven on Earth

Day 17 – Heaven on Earth At sunrise Tristan Da Cunha was suddenly rearing up on the horizon and we were excited to radio in to harbor authorities to make arrangement for safe anchorage. At 0930, a small ferry arrived to pick us up, skippered by the sole policeman on the island. We stepped , with very shaky legs onto terra firma. Dawn, from Tourism, was on the wharf to greet us and help us with passport formalities, and then she took us ... Read more

Day 16 – A good soaking

Day 16 - A good soaking During the early morning hours, the wind picked up and we took down the goose-wing. We noted that the track on the mast, that supported the sliders was bent and we could not knock it back into shape, so we would have to try to refit it in Tristan, which was now only 160nm away. The wind continued to pick up strength and by 1300 it was 35 knots in 5m swells. Helming was a challenge in ... Read more

Day 15 – Unwind

Day 15 - Unwind Today provided a welcome opportunity for us to relax after the testing events of yesterday.We spent much of the afternoon warming in the sun, in gentle seas, practicing knots and telling stories. We chatted a lot about the incident of the spinnaker broach and we were proud of the way that we pulled together as a crew, each one of us stepping up to the challenge. Uwe cooked up a delicious beef stew , which was perfect ‘ ... Read more

Day 14 – High Wire Spinnaker Rescue

Day 14 - High Wire Spinnaker Rescue Jane and Freddie awoke to a spectacular sunrise on their watch. Jane made coffee, but while handling the sugar, a sudden lurch sent her sprawling across the cabin, flinging a sugar coating over the entire floor, her mattress and sleeping Uwe. She deftly swept it up , brushing it off Uwe without disturbing his blissful sleep, then proceeded to wash the floors down leaving a sweet caramel glaze on them. As the morning proceeded, Joey perfected his ... Read more
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