Today is the second day back on the boat, but the first day back on the ocean. It’s been great being back on the water. We left Cape Town around 10 am and are sailing towards Namibia, about a 4-day passage. All three of us have had bouts of seasickness at various levels as we attempt to get our sea-legs back after 2 months on land. It has set us all off a little, although I am happy to report that after the first few hours I have been fine and have no more nausea. Hmm, I just noticed that nausea has the word sea in it. Now I’m going to have to research that word when I get back to Google land to see if it came from seasickness or not. Feel free to etymologize me in the comments below if you want, as it will be three more days before I have Internet. Of course, that means that I won’t see your response for three more days either.
We motored the first few hours, but have now been strictly sailing for over 12 hours. The wind was initially on our nose, but when we came around to our course, it backed to a beam and is now coming off our port aft, making for a nice easy sail, using only our genoa, doing 5-7 knots of speed on average. The wind has been between 10 and 16 knots all night and I have been on shift since midnight. It is now about 3 am.
We’ve been having issues with our plotter. It keeps rebooting and doing other funky things. This is discouraging as we rely on it to work with our auto-pilot to make our course, but luckily, Otto, the auto-pilot seems to be working flawlessly. Instead of having the boat steer by tracking along the course, it is now just on auto-pilot, with manual adjustments by the helmsman, to follow the track that the plotter sets out for us. I know much of that might have gone over many of your heads, but for the non-sailors, think of a plotter as the gps in your car. It has a map and the appropriate course you need to drive. You plug in where you want to go and it shows a line on a map. If we were hand steering, like you do in a car, we would simply follow that line on the map (or plotter), like you do on your car’s gps. But because we’re using auto-steering, the plotter and the auto-pilot work together to follow that route without any interaction from us. Our only job, if this is working properly, is to keep an eye out for other ships and watch the wind and make sure the sails are set appropriately for the wind direction. But in this case, the plotter keeps rebooting and losing its connection to the satellites, so the auto-pilot, depending on direction from the plotter, gets thrown out of whack. Since the plotter is being unreliable, we have over-ridden the plotter and simply told the auto-pilot to keep a heading of 000 in this case (basically north) which follows along the line of the plotter. I hope this makes sense. If not, please comment below and I’ll be happy to explain it further for those interested.
The seas have been somewhat calm, the weather somewhat mild, although it has been very balmy all afternoon and evening. It hasn’t been raining, but there is water dripping off of everything and when you sit out in the cockpit you end up getting wet from the air. There was also a lot of fog earlier, but it seems to have dissipated. A sliver of the moon came up around 3am, framed by two stars or planets, most likely. This “night light” is so much more enjoyable than the darkness, despite the smaller light.
We provisioned the boat yesterday, shopping at Pick-N-Pay, spending about 5,000 Rand, or around $387 US. That should be enough to last us for a week or two, as we are unsure what resources we will find in Namibia, although I suspect we can re-provision there before we take off across the Atlantic. We’ll probably be spending a week or so in Namibia as it appears to be an amazing place to visit.
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