17 May – no food wasted

I’ve had two days of very light airs that at best could be described as relaxing! The breeze has been back since about 03h00 and it’s now 15-20 SE. lekker sailing. I haven’t touched the tiller or a sail for 30 hours now since gybing onto port yesterday morning. Caught up on reading and cooking! I swear I’m picking up weight? Pack sizes for cans are for 4 people, not one, and without refrigeration, I don’t want to keep leftovers. So it’s eat it or throw it away and from boarding school, sanctions in Zim and army days, I know you just don’t throw food away!

I’ve worked out that my B & G log is not very accurate and I may have been overstating my daily runs quite a bit. I’ve put the trailing log out and also set a GPS waypoint to measure 50 miles and then I will compare the B & G and Walker and see what’s apparent. I’ve had to make a plotting sheet for the 50 miles as my only chart for this area is Cape Town to Rio!

I was feeling quite buoyant about my noon sights until yesterday when my sight was nearly 1°30’ out! I still cannot work out where I went wrong and can only assume I was impatient with the actual sight? I’ll try again today. But what made me feel a whole lot better was my 5-star fix at civil twilight last night! I was just over 4 miles out. And I think most of that was trying to be the timekeeper with a ‘hard to read dress watch’ and the sextant operator. With the full moon threatening to overpower the stars, I had to work quickly too and there wasn’t time to use the stopwatch and ship’s clock method. 

The sights are so easy to take once you’ve pre-setup the altitudes and azimuths from the Star Volume. You basically know exactly what you’re looking for and where and it’s just a matter of getting the timing fine-tuned. If these continue to work for me, I think I’ll use them in morning and evening twilight and try and get a decent noon sight each day, rather than doing running fixes with LOP’s?

I had a nice chat to Kirsten last night. We’ve set up a schedule at 18h00 UTC each day on 8-2. She’s on the African side of the rhumb line to St Helena and also battling a bit for breeze. She seems to be about 900 miles behind me having left on the Saturday morning 7 1/2 days after me. James Scott helped her with her HF installation a lot and has been instrumental in making sure both our units are working properly and that we can talk to him from his car on the hillside above Slangkop (but I think I’m out of range now) and to each other. 

Stay in touch,


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