Neptune's Highway

Wed Feb 19 10:21 2020 NZDT
GPS: 0 33S 31 08W
Run: 118.8nm (215km)
Avg: 5.9knts
24hr: 141.1nm

Tuesday, February 18, 7:00 pm I was feeling a bit neglected as I hadn't heard from anyone since Valentine's Day, but then today we received emails dated February 15th. Maybe the folks at Iridium were in a chocolate coma. Well, better late than never.

DAY 12. DAY 3 OF MOTORING! Still no wind. We've put 5 of our 6 Jerry jugs of diesel into the tank. The last jug we have to save for making landfall. Of the 4 weather models we download daily, only one is showing some wind tomorrow afternoon so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Meanwhile, Bruce is starting his first watch, 7-10pm, as we head into a monstrous black thunderhead. We'll be so happy to get through to the other side of the convergence zone. We expect to cross the Equator tomorrow morning. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Tue Feb 18 14:09 2020 NZDT
GPS: 1 30S 29 42W
Run: 214.4nm (388.1km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 145.4nm

Monday, February 17, 2359 UTC Day 11 Getting this in just under the wire at 11:59 pm. It's been a long day! After yesterday's post we had about 4 hours of torrential rain. Glad to be on a boat as it was the kind of rain that makes you want to start building an ark! But there was no wind in it and it's tropical-warm so not a problem, just very wet! We had our dinner in the main salon instead of the cockpit for maybe the first time ever off shore. The night was pretty clear with the Big Dipper on our starboard side and the Southern Cross on port.Today was spent repairing the mainsail. Laura stitched on new webbing and Bruce reinforced it with small nuts and bolts. Sounds easy but we broke 4 needles and had to use an acetylene torch to heat an ice pick to red hot to burn holes for the bolts (there's some kind of hard material sandwiched inside the sail cloth to make the clew area strong and stiff so it was a b!tch getting through it). And all this in the equatorial heat and no shade! We took a lunch break (r an out of propane so Bruce had to switch tanks half-way through cooking lunch) , did the last bit of stitching, and reattached the clew to the end of the boom and flaked the sail. Now we just need some wind to check it out. Laura crashed for an indulgent 2 hour nap (we each sleep about 5 hours each night over 2 off-watch intervals and supplement with a 1 hour nap during the day). Bruce did his laundry. Then we pulled out 2 of our 6 20-liter fuel jugs and siphoned diesel into our fuel tank. Bruce grabbed a 1 hour nap before sunset. And then it started to rain again. Fortunately a cold dinner had been planned as it was sweltering down below with all the hatches closed and the engine running. Bruce took the first watch. Laura sat on deck in the cool rain for a final rinse before going to bed. And now it's midnight. Whew! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Mon Feb 17 2:45 2020 NZDT
GPS: 03 19S 27 11W
Run: 150.6nm (272.6km)
Avg: 6.1knts
24hr: 145.7nm

Sunday, February 16, 1300 UTC DAY 10 RAINY DAYS AND SUNDAYS...

Just after sunset last night the wind dropped so we took down our sails in the twilight and started motoring. We are now officially in the convergence zone where north meets south. We anticipate 3 days motoring to get through it. On the other side we should have NE trade winds (we've had SE since Cape Town). We'll take down the spinnaker pole, change our jib sheet leads, repair our mainsail and be ready for starboard tack.

Our birds did not show up last night. Either they did not need us on such a calm night or there's an invisible line (the equator) that they do not want to cross. We are 400 miles from the nearest land so godspeed.

We had our first rain this morning and Bruce grabbed a scrub brush and cleaned the deck. Laura has her speedy stitcher ready to go and will work on the sail repair between showers. All is shipshape on board. Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Mon Feb 17 2:42 2020 NZDT
No position sent.

Sunday, February 16, DAY 10 RAINY DAYS AND SUNDAYS...

Just after sunset last night the wind dropped so we took down our sails in the twilight and started motoring. We are now officially in the convergence zone where north meets south. We anticipate 3 days motoring to get through it. On the other side we should have NE trade winds (we've had SE since Cape Town). We'll take down the spinnaker pole, change our jib sheet leads, repair our mainsail and be ready for starboard tack.

Our birds did not show up last night. Either they did not need us on such a calm night or there's an invisible line (the equator) that they do not want to cross. We are 400 miles from the nearest land so godspeed.

We had our first rain this morning and Bruce grabbed a scrub brush and cleaned the deck. Laura has her speedy stitcher ready to go and will work on the sail repair between showers. All is shipshape on board. Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Sun Feb 16 1:57 2020 NZDT
GPS: 04 48S 25 35W
Run: 173.7nm (314.4km)
Avg: 6.6knts
24hr: 157.3nm

Saturday, February 15, 1300 UTC Day 9. We had a beautiful, quiet night last night. The birds settled in without a peep and no flying fish were propelled on board in the flat sea conditions. Winds have lightened up to 11-12 kts and with our reefed main we are under-canvassed. We are enjoying the slower pace. Today may be our last day with wind until we cross the equator and join up with the north east trade winds. We will take advantage of our time spent motoring to run the watermaker, do some bucket laundry, and make some bread.

BTW, I applaud our family members who spend their vacations camping and getting back to Nature. But for my next vacay, I want hot and cold running water, easy to access food storage, and APPLIANCES! Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Fri Feb 14 23:27 2020 NZDT
GPS: 6 16S 23 32W
Run: 191.1nm (345.9km)
Avg: 7.7knts
24hr: 184.9nm

Friday, February 14, 10:00 am UTC Day 8. Happy Valentine's Day! As we close in on the equator, we are seeing, on our weather maps, storm cells (RAIN) developing in our path. Yesterday we did our daily jibe in order to skirt one of these cells. As the boom went over, there was a loud BOOM, and much chaos. Our clew had blown out of the mainsail (our clew is a stainless ring at the corner of the sail that secures it to the aft end of the boom). It was attached with 5 strips of webbing and we think the sun weakened the attachment points. We immediately put a reef in the sail as the 3 reef points have its own clew(s). Overnight the wind picked up to 20-25 so the reefed main was more than adequate. Our options are to go with a reefed main for rest of the trip, or, if we go through a calm patch at the equator, we can make a simple repair that should hold until we get to a sail maker. We anticipate that we will need to keep a reef in the mainsail once we're in the Caribbean trade winds anyway.

Our birds, Heckle and Jeckle, returned to their roost last night. A few of their friends decided to crash the party and much squawking ensued. They are a dark charcoal gray so might be sooty terns. They sound similar to the laughing gulls that migrate through the Virgin Islands in the spring. Our birds leave before the sun comes up so we haven't had a good look at them. They are welcome to ride with us so long as they stay where their poop doesn't hit the deck.

The casualty count for the flying fish decreased today 0 but still in the double digits. These are mostly babies, about 2 inches long. We had one about a foot long that would have made a good meal, but mostly the adults have better sense.

Cheers, The Highways Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thu Feb 13 22:39 2020 NZDT
GPS: 7 27S 21 01W
Run: 157nm (284.2km)
Avg: 8.4knts
24hr: 202nm

Thursday, February 13, 9:00 AM Day 7, Stowaways and Deaths on Board. At each port we visited in South Africa, we were required to fill out a form that asked how many stowaways we had and how many deaths on board since our last port. We were happy to truthfully report zero. Now, however, we have two stowaways. Two sea birds are hitching a ride at night. We figure they must have spotted us as we passed 150 miles off Ascension Island and couldn't resist what appeared to be a good thing. They are gone during the day, most likely fishing. They return at night and perch on our radar dome (it's actually flat and mounted 10 feet above our stern so a perfect roost). There is now no land in site so we have become their floating island. Their next opportunity to find land might be when we pass by the Eastern-most point of Brazil. Or maybe Trinidad. Or maybe they will make Neptune's Highway their permanent home and we will have to name them. The birds look like crows. Can anyone tell us what they are(Jeanine?)? As for deaths on board, each morning reveals flying fish carnage on our fore deck. Today the count is 14. They seem to be attracted to light and the full moon is illuminating our white hull and deck. We sit in the cockpit looking at our lit instrument panel at our own risk. We have had them land at our feet, in our lap and, once, a slap in the face. These, at least, we can toss back while they are still twitching, leaving a shower of scales for us to clean up later. I think flying fish are my favorite fish. I'm in awe of how far they fly and to see a school of them airborne, looking more like birds than fish, defies notions of species-appropriate behavior. It's a bird, it's a fish, no! It's a lemming! We must have favorable current now as we sailed all night with only the mainsail and averaged 7.4 kts with 16-18 kts of breeze behind us. We have 1,000 miles behind us and 850 miles to the equator. The last time we were north of the equator on the Atlantic side was 2011. Homeward bound. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thu Feb 13 4:00 2020 NZDT
GPS: 8 24S 18 56W
Run: 214.3nm (387.9km)
Avg: 7.4knts
24hr: 177.7nm

Wednesday, February 12, 2:00PM Day 6 Give us this day our daily jibe. We are unable to sail our rhum line as it is too deep down wind and we have to keep 20-30 degrees off in order to keep wind in the sails as we get pushed around by waves. So we are zig zagging across our course line and jibing each day. This adds miles to our passage. I calculated that for every 100 miles we sail, we make 94 miles towards our destination. We can live with that, especially when we are churning out 155 miles each day. We were hailed on the radio today by a fellow traveler sailing about 8 miles from us on passage from Ascension Island to Brazil. It's an American flag sailboat that we met briefly in St. Helena. The owner and mate caught our attention for two reasons: 1. they are both black (African America- not sure which is the preferred adjective), which you don't see very often in cruising circles. 2. The owner of the boat has only one hand, giving new dimension to the term 'single handed sailor'. We met another one-armed sailor in Chagos who was from mainland China, another demographic not much represented in the cruising world. The majority of boats out here are European, Australian, American, Canadian, and New Zealand. This Chinese sailor is a professional yacht racer and had sailed solo in Trans Atlantic races. Now he's taking his non-sailor girlfriend around the world in his spiffy new catamaran. And my point is...... Just that we have met so many fascinating people in our travels. Friendships are facilitated by our common goal to survive cruising! Many friends who have retired from sailing say that the comraderie of this unique tribe is what they miss most. I know that will be true for us. Meanwhile, we are 1000 miles from the equator and things are heating up! . Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Tue Feb 11 23:03 2020 NZDT
GPS: 10 14S 16 24W
Run: 1115nm (2018.2km)
Avg: 56.3knts
24hr: 1351.5nm

Tuesday, February 11, 10:00 am Day 5 (again) Yesterday I mistakenly (and optimistically) posted that is was Day 5 when, in fact, it was Day 4. The mathematically inclined should have picked it up when I said that we were doing 150 mile days and had 600 miles behind us.

I'm hoping Bruce catches a fish so we can do Taco Tuesday in style. So far we've let one small bonito go and lost one that hit when we were putting a reef in the main.

Mostly we've been able to sail with the full main and 12-17 kts of breeze behind us. We are sticking close to our rhum line, jibing at the end of each day. We do most of our sail changes before sunset, which is also prime time for a fish strike.

All is well on board. We are especially enjoying your emails! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Tue Feb 11 3:15 2020 NZDT
Run: 863.8nm (1563.5km)
Avg: 47.1knts
24hr: 1129.8nm

Monday, February 10, 1400 UTC Day 5 Still moseying along wing and wing. Last night was clear and full moon. Would've stayed up to watch Academy Awards but, alas, no TV. But we probably had a better show of stars. 600 miles behind us, 3400 to go. All is well on board so long as we have coffee! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Mon Feb 10 8:54 2020 NZDT
GPS: 11 53S 12 41W
Run: 247.4nm (447.8km)
Avg: 8.6knts
24hr: 206.9nm

Sunday, February 9, 7:45 pm Day 3. Really? Only 3 days? Are we there yet? This morning was light wind, thrashing sails, irritable crew. But then the wind filled in and another good day of perfect weather and down wind sailing. Waiting for the full moon to rise, then off to bed for 3 hours while Bruce takes the first watch. Still not totally adjusted to sleep schedule. Getting there. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Sun Feb 9 4:12 2020 NZDT
GPS: 13 54S 9 39W
Run: 117.7nm (213km)
Avg: 5.2knts
24hr: 124.4nm

Day 2, Saturday, February 8, 9:00 am We are steadily trucking along with light but adequate wind, trying to maintain our 6+ kt average. Some light showers around us and lots of rainbows. We are in radio contact with 2 other boats that are within 100 miles of us.

St. Helena gets a supply boat once a month from South Africa and we were warned not to expect much for reprovisioning. But, to our surprise, there are local farmers who bring produce to town once a week so we loaded up on green peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, kale, lettuce, green beans, and Butternut Squash. I already had lots of onion, garlic, red cabbage, carrots and potatoes. So we should have a pretty healthy diet for the first half of the trip. The second half will devolve into salami, cheese, bacon, and canned goods. Oh, and for our Aussie friends, St. Helena has Easy-yo! Don't know if our plan to drop a few extra lbs. on passage will happen. Maybe when we run out of chocolate? Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Sat Feb 8 5:30 2020 NZDT
GPS: 14 23S 7 58W
Run: 183.7nm (332.5km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 168nm

Day 1, Friday, February 7 So far the sailing has been pretty easy. Bruce had some squally weather on his 2am to 5am watch. We've had some light air patches where the sails start to slat and that's annoying, but mostly we've had 14+. We are wing and wing, our usual downwind set up. When the wind picks up to 20, which it did from about 2 am to 2 pm, we roll up the jib and sail with just the main. Our first 24 hr. run, 3pm to 3pm, we averaged 6.5 kts. Any average over 6 is good! 156 miles down, 3,844 to go. The best part is that we are no longer freezing on night watches! We are at much more temperate latitudes. Soon enough we will be sweating across the equator so we'll enjoy this while we can. All is well on board. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Fri Feb 7 3:15 2020 NZDT
GPS: 15 55S 5 43W

Thursday, February 6, 1400 UTC All checked out and getting ready to depart St. Helena. What a great stopover! Swimming with whale sharks was a highlight. Exploring the island by car was an adventure! Who knew such a small island (47 Sq. Mi) could have so many peaks and valleys. Makes St. John seem like Iowa! We were unable to visit Napoleons grave as it was Sunday but his body is no longer there, or any hint of France as evidenced by the 'no smoking' sign posted at the gate. The people here couldn't have been more friendly and we were able to spend some time with cruisers who we have been traveling with since Malaysia but may not see again. Bittersweet. Next stop, somewhere in the Caribbean. If weather is good, we'll make a short stop in Nevis and then on to St. John.

Thank you Graham and Diane for your lovely email. We hope to cross wakes again in the future! Winds here are light and should be behind us so hopefully a lazy first night to get acclimated. And we're off..... Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Fri Jan 31 9:24 2020 NZDT
GPS: 15 55S 5 43W
Run: 0.6nm (1.1km)

Thursday, January 30, 8:00pm local Our first day on St Helena was a blast. We took the water taxi ashore at 8:00 am (there is no place to land your dinghy and water taxi runs on the hour so very convenient). First order of the day was clearing customs and immigration. Then exploring the town which is basically one street of really old buildings that house guest houses, cafes, and small shops. Totally charming. St. Helena has a population of about 5,000. While the town is off the Harbour, most people live on the top of a plateau. That's because the island is bare, steep, crumbling rock for the first 1000 ft, and on the plateau there is water and soil and vegetation. There is a steep road going up from town, but we opted to climb the 699 steps (and each step is 11 inches high) up to the old cannons and stone buildings overlooking the Anchorage. The trip down turned our legs into a quivering mass of jello! This may be the #1 site in the world for whale sharks, which show up in January and February. We've signed up to go on a boat tomorrow morning to see and swim with them! There are a lot of pretty incredible hikes on this 47 Sq. mile island so we plan to do some exploring by car and foot over the weekend.

So we are pretty excited to be here, take in the sites over the next few days, then shove off for the 4,000 mile sail to St. John. All is well on board.

B&L Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thu Jan 30 7:15 2020 NZDT
GPS: 15 55.4S 05 43.4W
Run: 132.3nm (239.5km)
Avg: 5.6knts
24hr: 135.1nm

Wednesday, January 29, 6:00 pm WE ARE HERE! Arrived St. Helena at 1:30 this afternoon after a really nice 8 day passage. There are about 10 other cruising boats already here. Tomorrow we will go ashore, clear customs and immigration, and check things out. This place is a rock, about 10 miles long, very little vegetation, with a small cluster of houses. It's in the middle of the south Atlantic and was probably uninhabited until somebody decided it was a good way station for defense. We can see the remains of a fort at the top of the island. We will check it all out tomorrow. We heard that 7 whale sharks have been spotted so we may splurge on an excursion boat if it means swimming with whale sharks! Meanwhile, we have been tidying up, enjoyed a bottle of South African red wine with dinner, and we're waiting for the sun to go down so we can go to bed and pass out. There's nothing so cherished as a full night's sleep after a passage! All is well on board! Cheers! B&L Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wed Jan 29 7:45 2020 NZDT
GPS: 16 11S 03 45W
Run: 347.5nm (629km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 169nm

Tuesday, January 28, 6:30pm Zulu Really gorgeous day today. Hope for the same tomorrow as it will be such a nice way to end the passage. Last night winds were light and fickle so we dropped sail and motored, which for us is slower than sailing. So that's put us a bit behind schedule. Today we've had good breeze, around 17 kts all day but can't quite lay the course line so we are jibing (zig-zagging) across it. We are still hoping to arrive before sunset tomorrow. Today we started talking about the next leg: the 4000 miles to St. John and strategies for crossing the ITCZ at the equator where the SE wind below the equator meets the NE winds from above the equator. Not a good place to be so ideally you want to target the narrowest spot to cross, which is always moving. But that is weeks away and, for now, we are looking forward being tourists on St. Helena. Cheers, The Highways Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Tue Jan 28 7:18 2020 NZDT

Monday, January 27, 6 Still sailing wing and wing but jibed over to Port tack about 2 hours ago. The cook likes port tack because everything slides toward the back splash, whereas on starboard tack everything slides toward the floor! Our winds have lightened up but we will leave the main sail shortened down over night and shake the reef out in the morning. We always sail conservatively at night. Fast boat, slow crew.

Less than 48 hours to St. Helena. All is well on board.

Thanks Booker and Dave for the news updates! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Mon Jan 27 6:24 2020 NZDT
GPS: 18 08S 1 06E
Run: 155.3nm (281.1km)
Avg: 8.1knts
24hr: 195.1nm

Sunday, January 26, 17:15 UTC.

So, for anyone paying attention to yesterday's post about time zones, I am now posting Zulu time, which sounds African, but is actually the time in St. Helena and Greenwich, England. The sun won't set for another hour, so 5:15 pm Zulu seems right.

Another good day of sailing. It was cloudy this morning with some occasional misting, but cleared up this afternoon. We expect to make landfall Wednesday afternoon. All is very well on board. Thanks to friends and family who have sent emails! Greatly appreciated! Cheers! B&L Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Sun Jan 26 11:18 2020 NZDT
GPS: 18 53S 03 20E
Run: 269.8nm (488.3km)
Avg: 7.4knts
24hr: 176.9nm

Saturday, January 25, 11:30 pm Almost forgot to post a position report today! It's almost midnight, so better get to it. Or is it (almost midnight). Time. We are racing towards 0 degrees longitude, aka Greenwich Mean Time. In nautical circles this is usually referred to as 'Zulu' or 'UTC'. Most sailors will (or should) refer to Zulu time in an effort to be accurate. But I post local time as that is more relatable.

On this passage we will be crossing 3 time zones. Because we have so many devices on board, we usually wait until we arrive at our destination to change all our clocks. Usually this is no big deal as we only cross one time zone (and we are notorious for being an hour early or an hour late for happy hour in a new location, and have gone DAYS before realizing we are in a new time zone!). But this is a much longer westward bound trip. So how do we know we are in the wrong time zone when there are no visible lines drawn on the ocean's surface? Well, when we started this trip, sunrise was at 5:30. Now it's at 7:45. So we should be turning our clocks back two hours to make the correction. But that's just too much trouble so we'll wait until we get there to reset everything to correct time. One of the first questions we ask when we step ashore is 'What time is it?'.

Meanwhile, we continue to have sunny days and excellent sailing conditions. Bruce put a lure in the water today and caught a small Mahi which he let go. We'll try again tomorrow. Mahi means that we are in warmer water. Whoo hoo! Back in the tropics! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Fri Jan 24 22:42 2020 NZDT
GPS: 20 37S 07 03E
Run: 142.9nm (258.6km)
Avg: 7.2knts
24hr: 173.2nm

Friday, January 24, 11:30 am We had another peaceful, starry night last night. No moon on this passage! Light breeze but we are still averaging 6.5 kts boat speed. Every morning the wind has died for a few hours so we run the engine and the watermaker. Thats what's happening now. We expect to have another 24 hours of light wind then it picks up to 20 knots for the remainder of the passage.

Bruce and I are both reading 'Out There', a collection of quirky articles/stories from Outside Magazine. It's especially good because we've been to some of the featured places: Komodo, Indonesia (home of Komodo dragons), Papua New Guinea (cannibals!) , Marshall Islands (story about Bikini Atoll). If nothing else, this trip we've been on has improved my geography! Thanks to everybody who sent us emails to our iridium address, We appreciate it! B&L Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Fri Jan 24 2:54 2020 NZDT
GPS: 21 19S 009 08E
Run: 169.8nm (307.3km)
Avg: 7.4knts
24hr: 178.7nm

Thursday, January 23, 3:30 pm local time We've been hoping the South Atlantic would be an easy ride and so far she hasn't disappointed. We continue to have a light breeze on the beam and flat seas, averaging a little over 6 kts boat speed. In 48 hrs we've covered 320 miles so about 930 to go! And what a difference a day makes! We were freezing our first night out and wore ALL our gear: long John's, sweatpants, heavy socks, sea boots, hoodies over long sleeve T shirts, beanies, full on foulies top and bottom. It took a full 15 minutes to get dressed or undressed, cutting into our 3 hours of off-watch sleep time. Last night we shed the foulies. And right now we are sitting in our cockpit 'solarium', i. e. under the dodger with the sun coming through the clear vinyl windows, in shorts and Ts! We don't expect St. Helena to be tropical, but it should be comfortable.

Bruce says, " This sail reminds us of why we're doing this!" Cheers, B&L Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thu Jan 23 4:06 2020 NZDT
GPS: 21 54S 011 42E
Run: 174.6nm (316km)
Avg: 7.1knts
24hr: 170.3nm

Wednesday January 22, 5:00 pm Happy hour and we are happy! We've had a gorgeous, sunny day and this afternoon we've had 12 knots true on the beam and are cruising along at 7 kts! This morning the wind died for a few hours which gave us the opportunity to motor and run the watermaker. That means hot showers! All is well on board. Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wed Jan 22 3:30 2020 NZDT
GPS: 22 43S 14 17E
Run: 19.9nm (36km)

Tuesday, January 21, 4:00pm We are once again under way with 20 knots on the beam, We are sailing NW on port tack slightly off wind of our rhum line but Bruce says gentle people don't sail to weather. We'll make the correction when the wind lightens up or goes more SE, both of which are supposed to happen in a couple of days.

Distance to St. Helena is 1250 nm and the trip should take 9 days. We've read that the grocery stores there can be pretty bare, depending on when the supply boat from Cape Town arrives. So we've stocked up the boat to get us all the way to St. John. Laura has food stashed everywhere. It seems like overkill but we'll see what's left after 6-8 weeks! Today's a sunny day and our cockpit dodger is a nice solarium but we expect to be fully geared up by sunset. St. Helena is about 420 miles further north at 15 degrees latitude so we are hoping it will be warmer. You can remind me of this post when we hit the equator and start complaining about the heat! Thank you Irene, Lionel, and Jeanine for the emails.

Cheers The Highways Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Fri Jan 17 6:15 2020 NZDT
GPS: 22 57S 14 28E
Run: 76.2nm (137.9km)
Avg: 2.7knts
24hr: 65.8nm

Thursday, January 16, 7:00 pm local time.

We arrived in Walvis Bay this morning. Last night we took down all the sails since we only had about 50 miles to go and needed to slow down. We still cruised along at 4-5 knots. So quiet it was easy to get some sleep. It was foggy and cold and around 3am we were invaded by moths who were seeking shelter from the drizzle. What the h were they doing 30 miles from land? It was truly biblical! A plague of moths. When the sun came up they stopped coming. But there were thousands clumped together in every possible nook, cranny, or fold of sail cloth. Laura went into full genocide mode, channeling her years living in New York City in an old tenement building held up by cockroach spit. Now the boat is covered with moth dust inside and out and will require a big clean up. But today's priority was checking in with customs and immigration (a loooong walk). Passports are stamped and we are back on the boat enjoying wine and internet. We will be here about a week and then no more internet until April when we arrive in St. John. But we can be reached at We'd love to hear from you. And Bruce will want to know who wins the Super Bowl. Cheers. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Thu Jan 16 2:27 2020 NZDT
GPS: 23 58S 14 00E
Run: 701.3nm (1269.4km)
Avg: 32.9knts
24hr: 790.2nm

Wednesday, January 15, 15:00 local time Last night we had 24-30 knots of wind behind us and some pretty big seas. This only lasted about 5 hours and then it settled down to a more comfortable 16-19. This morning was pea soup foggy and the boat was dripping wet and everything down below felt damp. Eventually the fog lifted and the wind has died down. It's still overcast but the boat is dry and we've been sailing along with only our reefed main. We want to slow down to about 4.5 kts so we don't arrive before sun-up tomorrow.

It's been cold out on the water and we've been living in our one set of long John's, sweat pants and hoodie, topped by our foul weather gear, heavy socks and sea boots. So it will be nice to get into Port, have a hot shower, clean clothes, and clean sheets.! Laura is reading How Not to Die by Mitchell Gregor, MD and getting inspired to make our daily diet more nutritious. That will be a challenge on our 30 day passage from St. Helena to St. John. Everything in the book is backed by legit research. It's definitely worth reading as there is so much conflicting information out there and this book takes a KISS approach. All is well on board. Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wed Jan 15 5:09 2020 NZDT
GPS: 33 28.0S 18 04.3E
Run: 548.7nm (993.1km)
Avg: 10974knts
24hr: 263376nm

(this post from our first day out didn't send so I am re-posting) Saturday , Jan. 11, 2020 1100UTC We left Capetown early this morning in a pea soup fog and glassy seas. This coastline heats up in the summer months but the water coming up from Antarctica remains cold, resulting in fog very similar to the summer 'Marine Layer' (Californian's won't admit to fog!) that we have in the summer months on the Central CA coast. It is now 2pm, the sun and sails are up and the engine is off. Wind is 14 knt true from SW, seas are flat, and we're cruising along at 7 knots! We should arrive in Walvis Bay on Thursday. All is well on board and we are keeping an eye out for whales. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Wed Jan 15 5:06 2020 NZDT
GPS: 26 09S 014 31E
Run: 905.2nm (1638.4km)
Avg: 33.9knts
24hr: 813.7nm

Tuesday, January 13, 7:00pm Still cruising along downwind with sails wing and wing. Yesterday we passed through a fleet of dredgers off the Orange River, which is the border between South Africa and Namibia. They are dredging for diamonds! We were about 30 miles offshore in about 400 ft of water.

Our ETA for Thursday morning still looks good.

Cheers! Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Tue Jan 14 2:24 2020 NZDT
Run: 1151.7nm (2084.6km)
Avg: 5.9knts
24hr: 142.1nm

Monday, January 13, 2:00 pm We have crossed the line into Namibian waters. So far, an easy downwind trip (which means we are eating way too well - I count on these offshore trips to cut down!). Still on track for arrival at Walvis Bay on Thursday morning. Cheers! B&L Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

Sun Jan 5 23:54 2020 NZDT
GPS: 33 55.1S 018 26.6E
Run: 18.3nm (33.1km)

Sunday, January 5, 2020 We left Simon's Town yesterday and (finally) motor sailed past the Cape of Good Hope. We are now in Cape Town at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Sounds elegant but is actually a dirty, industrial area. We don't plan to be here long. Just enough time to do a final provision, fuel top off, and check out out of SA. We hope to be on our way to Namibia by the end of the week. Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

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