Starblazer - 02/02/2016 – It’s good when a plan comes together!
Monday was a bit of an anti-climax because we had hoped to arrive by dusk. The winds had slackened considerably, often dropping to 10 knots overnight which in turn resulted in reduced boat speed.Straight after the 10:00 am SSB radio net we rolled the genoas away, motored gently into the breeze for a couple of minutes while I pulled up the mainsail, turned back on course and cut the engine then set about removing the poles.Once they were safely stowed we pulled up the cruising chute aka genniker or asymmetric. Some boats have them rolled away ready to deploy but ours is hoisted in its sock, the tack is pulled close to the end of the bowsprit and the sheet is fed back to the winches in the cockpit.As I pull down on the sock line John gently pulls the sheet so as the sock goes up and the. read more...
Starblazer - 31/01/2016 – Frustrating progress
During Saturday morning we were sailing well and our ETA in Brazil was early evening Monday, still daylight.During the afternoon the wind died a bit, the boat slowed and our ETA went out to late Monday evening, after dark. In fact the day’s run averaged 6.0 knots, we’d usually be happy with that but on this leg from Cape Town via St Helena we have been treated to higher average speeds!There was also frustration on the fishing front.‘So what’s new?’ I hear you ask yourself.The first nibble didn’t take off, just a quick tug and the fish realised its stupidity and spat the lure out.The second fish did take the lure and started to rapidly swim away with its prize, John tightened up the drag one notch then the leader snapped.He had rigged two lures in series so he still had one, the line went. read more...
Starblazer - 30/01/2013 – Fish for dinner but….
There were few memorable events on Friday but one gave us pause for thought. We have noticed that when a darkish cloud passes over us the wind often freshens and alters direction then settles back to its previous strength and direction.There is occasionally a little light rain but these cells do not always show up on radar.During the morning radio net I was in the cockpit when suddenly the wind whistled up from 16 to 28 knots and backed 30o.I quickly punched a 30o course alteration into the autopilot control and the sails coped admirably as we got the wind back behind us as the gust subsided.A few minutes later we were hit by another gust at the same time as a large wave knocked us sideways.The autopilot couldn’t cope and just squawked nosily, showing an ‘off course’ error.I shot across. read more...
Starblazer - 29/01/2016 – Que sera, sera!
Concerning our ETA in Brazil the words of this song dating. I suspect, from the 50’s are accurate: ‘Whatever will be, will be; the future’s not ours to see.’This leg started with three days of sailing but the winds became weaker and weaker, our speed dropped, we were in danger of arriving too late in Brazil.We made the decision to motor to avoid a DNF, we motored for 21/2 days before the wind increased enough to give us a chance of sailing the rest of the way in the allotted time.Since then we have been sailing. For two days our ETA looked to be late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.Yesterday morning the weather changed.First of all there were light showers but with squally gusts of wind and Starblazer started flying. During the day the weather cleared but the wind steadied in. read more...
Starblazer - 28/01/2016 – The ones that got away,
This blog will most likely be a predominantly fishy tale.On the way to South Africa John had a couple of bites which ran away with all his line so he determined that he needed a bigger reel which would hold more line.That was his Christmas present.It has a rather nice feature in that there is a two speed gear box for retrieving the line, low speed when you have a fish on the hook and high speed when you want to wind in a lot which a fish ran away with then spat out!The one feature lacking is a cast iron guarantee that the fish will give in gracefully and accept that it is hooked.Yesterday was like many other days, the line went out when John got up in the morning and came back in late in the evening, but there was some excitement during the day.We now know that the bigger fish liked his. read more...