Cape to St Helena 2018 Day 5
The vital aromas of a life aquatic; fresh, not festering. Crystal spray, white horses.
The sweet memories of all that is good, and the fading trauma of what went wrong.
Renewed positivity of how we could be; how we can be. Better. Roll after roll.
We taste the salt with building thirst. All kinds of thirst. Wandering, sun-kissed thoughts. Nowhere to hide. Sensory bliss.
Ocean sailing. What fantastic territory for your mind and soul.
The fleet continues to progress well up the rhumb line, and a change of wind from a southerly to more south easterly direction in the last few hours has seen many yachts in the fleet gybing across onto a starboard run.
Within the next hour or two, Banjo, leading the pack, will have fewer miles to sail to the island than they have sailed since the start. Halfway there!
JML Rotary Scout are heading straight for Luderitz at a good pace, having altered course at about midnight last night. They are currently 85 miles from port. From their support group “They had a problem with the forestay last night at 10 pm. They have made temporary repairs and are heading to Luderitz for calm water. All are safe, but seasick. Sea is confused. They are motoring, about 12 to 15 hours to get to Luderitz. They have reported to race control, and there are ships nearby to call for help if needed.”
Hard luck Scouts! May Neptune keep you under his protection. Keep safe, and we’re all rooting for you to make safe passage to Luderitz.
The weather looks good for the next few days, with winds moderating closer to the island later in the week. There’s a massive extended ridge of high pressure quite high in the Atlantic – extending from below Africa in the East, up to the mid latitudes of Namibia, and almost all the way across to Brazil! This will force a strong low pressure system well below Africa later in the week. The strongest winds in that cold front are currently predicted to be well into the 50 knot range…but no fear, it will be thousands of miles below the fleet, and buffered by the high pressure ridge!
Commentary from the fleet in the last day has started to come through more readily as the sailors find their ocean rhythm. It emerged from somewhat delayed reports that the going was tough and bumpy on Friday overnight, with a strong breeze. Boats reefed down and “controlled the controllables”. The strong wind and confused sea-state passed, and I anticipate happy reports will roll in from the yachts today about how their Saturday passed.
The delayed timing of communication from the boats, and the logistics of the sailing office distributing this across various media channels has its challenges, so we’ll keep these reports quite fluid, and update them from time to time.
The race tracker started to look like Neptune’s trident at midnight last night, with the majority of the fleet up the middle following close to the rhumb line, but with Avocet far out west and offshore, and JML Rotary Scout most east and closest to the African continent. Neptune’s smiling. What would Venus think? I think they’d make a great couple.
Asanté and Indaba crossed tracks close together at 08h30 this morning, and no doubt Race Chairman, John Levin, aboard Indaba clearly hailed “Top of the Morning, Asanté”, and Asanté’s Francois Stocken responded by frisbee-ing over a couple of pancakes.
Solo sailor Dale Kushner, aboard YOLO, has had some time to reflect:
”The past 24 hours has been good. A freshening breeze yesterday and a few gybes to make more northing. In the evening the sea state was up and very confused. The best way was to two sail reach, but not at optimal course. In the early hours this morning gybed back again on a good vmg. Winds are light at the moment but it should pick up as the day progresses. I am still sailing in conservative mode. Completing this challenge is my goal. Any result is a bonus. One cannot drive as hard or do the same amount of sail changes as a crewed boat. All good aboard. Dale”
Compromise report “we had quite a rough afternoon sail yesterday, settled down towards the evening. We also got our own back on Neptune and dined on a wonderful Thai curry, made from some yellowtail he kindly donated to Compromise. It appears the sun is going to shine today and will be taken later.”
Naledi reports that they had a few rough manoeuvres, but no damages, and cracked the 1000 mile distance to finish barrier, which has lifted tired spirits.
A couple of boats have ripped, torn or popped their kites…Ronin lost her only kite, and Carpe Diem will be doing some sewing today to repair theirs.
The feedback and dialogue on these posts so far has been fantastic! Keep it coming, and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, please ask them in the comments section. Keep up the love, likes, shares and positive energy for this great race!
Cape to St Helena 2018 is a sister race to the #Cape2Rio2020, which is supporting the race with a daily race update.
You can track race progress here:
by Luke Scott