4 June: Ellen 1, Watson -1

When it got light enough to see outside this morning, I had a flash of déja vu. My rigging looked as if Olleanna had spent the last few weeks in Port Elizabeth harbour as it was covered in streaks of light brown dust. Fortunately, this is not manganese ore, but sand from somewhere to the

2 June – the joys of celestial navigation

20h00 UTC There is a good reason that GPS was invented. It’s to stop amateurs like me from throwing sextants, nautical almanacs or chronometers (or possibly all of them) overboard in frustration when trying to shoot an unwilling heavenly body! This afternoon, about half an hour before sunset, it looked like I would get a

2 June – Choppy seas and a cup of tea

We’re making some great progress through the water at the moment with two of the best day’s runs of the trip so far on yesterday and Tuesday. This has come as a pleasant surprise for me because I knew Olleanna was fast off the wind, but she’s showing pedigree when almost close-hauled as well. We’re

31 May – Hello from Boris

I think I can safely say we’re through the doldrums now. We’ve had 30 hours of 15-20 knot NE wind allowing me to set a course to a waypoint west of the Azores where we can hopefully work our way around the Azores high from. That’s the theory anyway. I decided to give myself a

29 May – Sargasso Sunday

Today marks exactly a month at sea since I left Cape Town and what a wonderful month it’s been. The contrasts between the cold sea water in the Cape autumn and where I currently am in the Northern hemisphere spring, but still in the hot, moody tropics is incredible and I have many observations about

28 May – the last few days

I’ve had another wet and wild night and another beaut of a day. And now it’s quite calm outside but pouring with rain! I’ve done the rain-catching, the sun sights, the attempted fishing and am journeying through “Sailing to the reefs” with Bernard Moitessier. His writing is such a tonic and to be currently sailing

25 May – early evening.

What a wonderful world. This time last night it was pitch dark with not a star visible through the clouds, rain squalls were hitting us from different directions packing winds of around 30 knots and I simply couldn’t sail a course remotely close to where I was aiming. Tonight I’m sitting in the cockpit in

25 May – The last 24 hours

They told me the ITCZ would be frustrating but this! 0-30 knots, SE to NW winds and a sea that has no idea which way to organize itself! I’m trying not to use my engine at all, but I may be reduced to that, or tears! The solid blue line is the course I want

25 May – E stands for…. Equator and C for chocolate muffins

Well, today’s been a strange old day! Early this morning I saw the first ship that I have seen in almost 3000 miles and also the first dolphins in almost as many miles. I woke up with a start at around 03h00 as I realized that I had not switched on my radar alarm after

May 23 – no wind, no rain

I’m in zone UTC -1 for ship’s time now so my sunset is approx 3 hours after yours. And looking at the nautical almanac, I see your sunset this evening would have been around 18h30 your time and mine is 18h00 UTC + my 20°W so 19h20 UTC which would be almost 21h20 your time.

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