Position 25:19.79 S 049:02.21 E
Date 2359 (UTC+4) Sunday 06 November 2016
Distance run in 24hrs 177nm over the ground, 154nm through the water
Passage total 454nm over the ground, 420nm through the water
To go to Richards Bay, South Africa rhumb line 932nm (modified route)
Route distance 1,395nm as originally planned
The wind gradually backed and at 0400 (0001UTC) it went through the stern to starboard. From the start of this passage we have followed the rhumb line to the recommended waypoint south east of Madagascar however during the morning we bore away to the north of the line, slightly closer to Madagascar. At that time we finally got into some favourable current and from 0600 it was giving us a 1.5 knot lift. The remainder of daylight produced sunshine, reasonable wind and a following sea; idyllic sailing conditions – until…
At 1500 the wind was backing and we decided to move the pole forward. This procedure requires the genoa to be furled whilst the pole is moved and then reset. The furler ran but nothing happened. The four bolts securing the furler drive to the furler foil had pulled out, I found one on the deck, and therefore the drive was not being transmitted to the foil, hence no furling. The first option was to try and find some suitable bolts. This I did but the threaded holes for the bolts are in aluminium and were damaged beyond use. The solution, that is currently holding, was to use four suitable sized Allen keys placing the short end of the key through the hole into the foil track thus locking the two parts together. The four keys are held in place by two large stainless steel pipe clips (Jubilee clips for UK readers). The alternative would be to drop the genoa which with 1,000nm to go would be a major loss.
We had to generate for an hour this morning, batteries at 90%, for the first time since leaving Reunion, the slower hull speed today not producing as much power from the Watt and Sea and the wind gens being useless with a following wind. However, the sun came out for the solar and we were back to 100% by 1300. We also required to make some hot water and this either comes from the generator using the immersion heater or the engine; no generator or engine equals no hot water. Next time we design a hard top we will include solar heating for water.
The Rally SSB (HF Radio) net is working well and whilst we did not get quite the range for the 0800 schedule we heard most of the boats well and Carango who left 18 hours ahead of the main fleet, faint but clear. For the 1800 we got better range, such are the vagaries of HF radio. It is good to be able to speak to other boats and hear how they are getting on. At our request, they are including current as a reporting item in addition to position and wind; the current being a decided planning factor on this passage.
Foodie news – dinner is Spanish Pork with rice, a regular favourite.