Day 10 on passage to Caribbean/Bahamas. Back to light winds and slow sailing, but making forward progress. Had a good sailing breeze yesterday afternoon, but motored for a few hours overnight because the wind died out. All is well aboard. 3583 miles to go to the Bahamas.
Day 9 underway to Caribbean/Bahamas. Sailing along nicely today. Had a few squalls yesterday evening, but only one was significant - nothing too much in terms of increased wind, but heavy rain. Also, the wind direction changed dramatically, and after the squall passed, the wind died out totally for about 30 minutes, and eventually came back from the direction it was originally coming from. So, there was lots of scrambling around to change sail configurations. Yesterday was the first day we've had any squalls since leaving Cape Town, which is a pretty long run. As we get closer to the equator, we can expect more squalls. All is well aboard. 3693 miles to go to the Bahamas.
Day 8 on passage to Caribbean/Bahamas. At 0800 UTC today, we completed our first week at sea. Our total distance "made good" toward our waypoint in the Bahamas was 866 nautical miles, so our average speed was 5.2 knots. Although we'd like to go faster, we're pretty happy with that given the light winds we had and some zig-zagging we've done to keep the sails filled. Our total time motored in the past week was just 4 hours (and 2 hours of that was at the very start of our passage when we motored away from the anchorage and then continued motor-sailing to charge the batteries), so all the rest was under sail power. We had an awesome day of sailing yesterday, with 15-20 knots of wind, and our speed was in the high 6's for a good part of the day. Winds are lighter today, and there are a few squalls in the area. We just had a squall pass near to us, and the winds picked up to 20 knots, but after it passed, the winds died down to 10. All is well aboard. 3818 miles to go to the Bahamas.
Day 7 underway to Caribbean/Bahamas. More wind today and faster speed, but of course the seas are up a bit too, so it's less comfortable. But, we're quite happy with this amount of wind, and the discomfort is quite tolerable. Happy Birthday to Jan's Dad who watches over us from above - he would have been 90 today. 3958 miles to go - we're under 4000 now - woo hoo! All is well.
Day 6 underway to Caribbean/Bahamas. We are having good sailing winds again today, so feel like we're making better progress. The wind died out for a bit last night, so we motored for a couple of hours, but that was a good opportunity to charge the batteries and run new water through the engine. We ate our last fresh tomato yesterday and will eat the last bit of lettuce today. Cabbage salads will be on the menu for the next several days. 4095 miles to go. All is well aboard.
Day 5 on passage to Caribbean/Bahamas. We're supposed to get a bit more wind today, so fingers are crossed for that. Other than that, "same same" - just plodding along and making progress toward our goal. All is well. 4232 miles to go to the Bahamas.
Day 4 underway to the Caribbean/Bahamas. Beautiful day. Winds are a bit up and down - earlier this morning, we had 15 knots and were sailing along quite nicely at 6 knots, but now it's back down to 8-10 and our speed has dropped into the high 4's. Saw a fishing boat just before dawn this morning. It was not transmitting AIS, but it was well lit, put out a good radar hit and passed about 2 miles off our port beam. That was the first boat we've seen in 4 days. Also saw a shooting star which is always nice. All is well aboard. 4346 miles to go to the Bahamas.
Day 3 underway to Caribbean/Bahamas. We're not setting any speed records (117 miles in the past 24 hours), but conditions are very pleasant and we're making progress in the right direction. Nothing much to report. Running the watermaker this morning. All is well aboard. 4468 miles to the Bahamas.
Day 2 underway to Caribbean/Bahamas. The wind has been up and down and moving around over the past 24 hours. It's great when it gets above 10 knots and goes a bit east (on the beam). It slows us down and makes the sails slat around when it gets below 10 knots and moves further south (behind us). We averaged 5 knots of speed over ground our first 24 hours, which isn't too bad, but we of course would like to go faster. Seas are pretty gentle, which has been nice. We are in radio contact every evening with 6 other boats - 5 of which left St. Helena a few days ahead of us, and 1 which left just about a half hour after us, so it's nice to have some other folks to talk to and commiserate with. All of us would like a bit more wind, but as someone cautioned last night "Be careful what you wish for!" All is well aboard. 4580 miles to the Bahamas!
Day 1 on passage to the Caribbean/Bahamas. Beautiful day, ideal conditions. Sailing wing-and-wing. All is well. 4700 miles to go to San Salvador, Bahamas.
We've been at St. Helena Island for a week today, and we've enjoyed our visit. We climbed Jacob's Ladder, went on an island tour and saw the "Napoleon" sites and more of the island interior, and today was the highlight - we swam with whale sharks! The boat operator told us he counted a total of 10 whale sharks swimming about the area. There were only 5 of us on the tour swimming in the water with them. Awesome experience!! We're planning to check out with the officials tomorrow and depart St. Helena heading for the Caribbean/Bahamas on Saturday morning.
Moored at James Bay, St. Helena Island - Yay! All is well. We'll probably stay here for about a week before moving on.
Day 12 on passage to St. Helena. We expect to arrive this afternoon - Yay! Our passage has still been going well, but the wind has been up and down. We motored some and sailed some yesterday, and finally made a decision late yesterday afternoon to just motor sail the rest of the way so that we could arrive in daylight hours. We really prefer to avoid arriving in a new harbor after dark, and we're also eager to get there. All is well aboard. 38 miles to go.
Day 11 on passage to St. Helena. All is well aboard except that the wind died during the night and so we are motoring. We started the engine early this morning when the winds dropped to 6-8 knots and we were barely making 3 knots SOG. Given that we were making some headway, we would have just carried on slowly, except that rolling seas were making the sails snap - not good for the sails and rigging, and the off-watch crew was getting no sleep. We're hoping that the wind will pick up enough for us to go back to sailing today, and if so, our arrival at St. Helena will likely be Friday morning. If the wind stays away, we'll continue under motor and arrive tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. We know we can buy more diesel at St. Helena, but the price is not very appealing - about $2 USD a liter, so just under $8 USD a gallon! 182 miles to go.
Day 10 on passage to St. Helena. Yesterday afternoon, we crossed into the Western Hemisphere! Slip Away was last in the Western Hemisphere in July 2013 in Taveuni, Fiji. Nothing much to report. Winds are a little lighter, and we are trying to keep our speed up to reach St. Helena in daylight hours on Thursday. We had a couple of small squalls this morning - winds never got above 20 knots in the squalls and we appreciated the wind that they brought. All is well. 308 miles to go.
Day 9 on passage to St. Helena. Winds were up during the night last night - upper teens, lower 20's - so the seas kicked up a bit, but it was all very manageable and still pretty comfortable, and our speed was quite good, averaging 6.5 knots SOG on Jan's midnight to 6 a.m. watch. All is well aboard. 450 miles to go. ETA Thursday. :-)
Day 8 on passage to St. Helena. As they say in Malaysia - "same, same". Sailing along nicely in good conditions. All is well aboard. 597 miles to go.
Day 7 on passage to St. Helena. It's hard to believe that we left Cape Town a week ago! We passed the half-way mark yesterday - yay! Conditions continue to be good - good winds, reasonable seas. The only complaint we can come up with is that there's not much moon right now, and the last couple of nights have been cloudy, so the night watches are VERY dark. That's very minor, but it would be nice to see some stars. All is well. 737 miles to go to St. Helena.
Day 5 on passage to St. Helena. Plugging along. Not much to report. Nice sailing winds. Seas are a little lumpy, but not bad and better than yesterday. Keeping in touch daily via the SSB radio with four other boats also headed to St. Helena, but they all left from Namibia, so are about 500 miles ahead of us. 1029 miles to St. Helena.
Day 4 on passage to St. Helena. The high pressure system settled into place yesterday, giving us good sailing winds. We shut the engine down late yesterday afternoon, and have been sailing wing-and-wing since then. Seas have gotten a little lumpy, but they are tolerable. All is well aboard. 1174 miles to go.
Day #3 underway to St. Helena. Another calm day. We had some wind last night - light (6-10 knots), but on the beam, and with the calm seas we had a very nice sail for over 13 hours. But the winds died this morning, and the iron genny is back at it. We are expecting a high pressure system to move into place later today or early tomorrow to give us more reliable sailing winds. It's gotten warmer every day, and it's quite pleasant now. The sea temp when we left Cape Town was 54F (about 12C) and it's now 70F (about 21C). 1315 miles to St. Helena. All is well on board.
Day 2 from Cape Town to St. Helena. Not much to report. Very little wind, so we are motoring. Seas are nice. The air and seas are getting warmer as we head north. Last night was much warmer than our first night out. We've seen a few big ships on AIS, but all passed a few miles away. All is well.
We departed Cape Town yesterday (Saturday) at 1600 local time, so have been underway for 17 1/2 hours now. It was sunny in the harbor at Cape Town when we left, but at 3 miles out, we ran into a thick fog bank - and the shipping lanes! Our AIS transponder and radar kept us out of trouble - we love both of those instruments! We had the magnetron replaced in our radar in Simon's Town, and it is working well again. :-) The fog lifted about 1900 last evening, and we had nice sailing winds - 10-15 knots on the beam - until about midnight. The winds starting dropping after midnight, but we managed to sail until 0415. We've been motoring since then and expect to motor in light winds all of today and possibly much of tomorrow, but the tradewinds should establish by Wednesday. We have about a meter of ocean swell, but it has a long period between the peaks, so it's very gentle and pleasant (i.e. only a slight roll on the boat). Both of us slept pretty well on our off-watch last night. All is well aboard!
Today is the day we'll be starting our Atlantic Ocean crossing. We'll be leaving Cape Town this afternoon headed for St. Helena Island, a passage of about 1800 miles, which we expect will take us 12-14 days. We're excited to be starting this ocean passage, but we are sad to leave South Africa behind. We've had an awesome time in this country.
Berthed at V&A Marina in Cape Town. Rounded the Cape of Good Hope this morning with grey skies but light winds and only slightly lumpy seas, so happy that we were treated well by Mother Nature and King Neptune at the "Cape of Storms". Greeted by a number of familiar and friendly faces when we arrived at the marina. :-) Had a visit from a boat gremlin on the trip, so we have another item added to our to-do list. We expect to be here for probably a couple of weeks before starting our voyage across the Atlantic.
Left the dock at Simon's Town marina and anchored out in the bay in anticipation of an early departure tomorrow morning for Cape Town. We expect to arrive at V&A Marina late tomorrow afternoon. This will be our first (and only) day-sail in South Africa!
Arrived and anchored at Simonstown early this morning. Rounded Cape Agulhas yesterday afternoon at 2:15 pm and crossed into the Atlantic Ocean. Yay!!! Will be hauled out into the boatyard at False Bay Yacht Club this afternoon for a few days of maintenance on Slip Away.
Left Mossel Bay yesterday at about 1900. Motored through the night with no wind. Motor-sailing now to keep our speed above 6 knots. 27 miles to Cape Agulhas and the Atlantic Ocean - yahoo! ETA Simonstown tomorrow morning. All is well aboard.
We anticipate leaving Mossel Bay in a few hours - waiting for the contrary winds to die down - and we'll be headed for Simonstown. Looking forward to a good moon on this passage. Weather forecast looks good. We're ready to get there!
Anchored outside Mossel Bay harbor. We had quite a lively sail yesterday with 25-30 knots of wind, gusting 35 for most of the afternoon. Fortunately the wind and seas were on our stern, but it was a rough ride and we're glad that's over! Conditions started abating early evening which was great because both of us slept well when we were off watch. All is well! Making progress towards Cape Town.
Departed Port Elizabeth shortly after 6 pm last night. Motored for a while but the wind came up and we started sailing at about 0245 this morning. Wind conditions are about perfect. Just wish the seas weren't so darn lumpy! 132 miles to Mossel Bay. All is well aboard.
We've been patiently waiting in Port Elizabeth for a weather window to move on, and it's finally arrived. It's a short window, but it's enough for us to get to Mossel Bay (190 miles, 36 hours). We'll be shoving off late this afternoon to arrive there early on Thursday morning. Will update with our progress tomorrow.
Docked in Port Elizabeth and will likely be here until Monday. We motor-sailed all night last night in light winds, and seas were very pleasant. The bioluminescence in the water last night was beautiful! All is well. :-) Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad
All is well aboard the good ship Slip Away. Had a few hours of fantastic sailing early yesterday evening with 25 knots of wind from our stern, flat seas, and great current. Slip Away's speed over ground (SOG) reached 11 knots! Then, at about 10 pm, it was like King Neptune turned the washing machine on the "agitator" cycle, making it virtually impossible to get any sleep. Ugh! This lasted for about 8 hours - not unsafe, but very uncomfortable. The "Wild Coast" lives up to its reputation! This morning, the wind died down so we're motor-sailing, seas are much better and we're taking turns napping. We are making good progress and expect to reach Port Elizabeth by tomorrow afternoon.
Left Durban shortly after 5 this morning. Motored for several hours at the start. Wind filled in enough to sail shortly after lunch. Sailing with headsail only, poled out. Great ride in the Agulhas current. Seas are a bit lumpy but tolerable (and typical for the Indian Ocean!). Good trip so far. All is well.
We had a great trip to Cape Town - a road trip on the Garden Route, wine tasting in Franschhoek, and lots of sightseeing in and around Cape Town. We flew back to Durban early Friday morning, and when the plane landed and we turned on our phone, we received an email from our local weather guy that there was a weather window for departing Durban late Sunday/early Monday. We completed paperwork with Durban port officials on Friday afternoon, did some grocery shopping and are making final preparations to leave very early tomorrow morning. It looks like we will get to either East London or Port Elizabeth on this window, and hopefully that will be a short stop to wait for a passing weather system, and then we'll continue on toward Simonstown. We plan to haul out Slip Away in Simonstown for bottom paint, hull polishing and a few other chores. Our fun is over - time to get to work!
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