December 13, 2011

32 days: transequatorial 2011

32 Days:  Cape Verde Island to Cape Town, South Africa.

Following our Transatlantic crossing, we made short passages between the ports of Caen, Ouistreham, Lorient, La Trinite, La Coruna, Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Cape Verde Island.  With 50 days of food on board, we were ready to make our long passage south.

We departed Cape Verde on November 10th and arrived in South Africa on December 12th.

Classic Voyage.  We started in the Northeast Trades through the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone, complete with a 40 knot black squall.  Crossed the Equator with 20 knots of wind, barely made it around the horn of South America at Recife 60 miles offshore, down the coast of Brazil to 38 South and then took a left in the Westerlies as the high was North @35S. One Southern Ocean gale for 36 hours with what Tormentina and James called the "monster waves", a Westerly course to 15 East, where we turned NE providing a good angle on the Southeast Trades up to the Cape of Good Hope.  The last two nights with full moonlight path to our destination, then a beautiful sunrise and a light coastal breeze got us into port with warm sunshine on our faces.

FOOD:  cold canned peaches and fresh calamari that was washed on board by the monster waves.
SAILING:  surfing in the South and the four days of smooth sailing that we had the entire trip.
KIDS:  naked sailing, iPod music and dancing, the once-a-day dip into the treat bag filled with chocolate and special treats, and being able to help out more and more with: water ballast, cooking, head pumping, cleaning the floors and cockpit, noticing + pointing out the wind shift and barometer alarms, lighting switches, and engine key removal.
JAMES:  did his own weather routing unassisted and used the same paper chart to plot his third trip into Capetown (2005, 2008, and 2011).
SOMIRA:  shooting for the first time without worrying about a saltwater wash on my gear with the AquaTech housing, no more sea cage/berth for Raivo, helping with sail changes, first shark fin spotting, and watching the Albatross fly endlessly while barely flapping their wings.
SCARY MOMENTS:  19.2 knots of boat speed in a Southern Ocean gale, losing the water maker 2500 miles offshore, and me waking up in the middle of the night not sure if James was still on the boat.