Headwinds to Cape Town

The pain continues for the Around Alone fleet

Wednesday November 6th 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: Transoceanic
Faster than a speeding ship (or fishing boat)

Graham Dalton reports from on board Hexagon

Position: 18.14 S 24.43 W

I was woken up by my radar alarm alerting me to a ship or very large fishing vessel nearby. On deck, I could see its lights in the distance. It was about 300 metres in front of me and we were doing about 15 knots so as I caught up with it I tried to tack around it. It was a bit like a mini race, with it trying to pass ahead of us, and us trying to get past to continue on our course. In the end, it just couldn’t keep up, so they slowed up and waited for me to go past. It is amazing that in this vast ocean you still come across other vessels from time to time.

I’ve been in the northern hemisphere since the beginning of June but I must say, it’s nice to be back in the south. I can now see Cape Town on my chart, which is encouraging. The only other thing we have on there is a little boat called Hexagon that is going too slow for my liking. We still have about 2,600 miles to go to Cape Town, depending on the weather we’ll be in about Sunday week. We’ve sailed so far already that it is important to keep the distances in perspective; the distance to go is still further than sailing across the Atlantic!

It’s a bit lonely – and despite the beautiful, shimmering sea, there is not much wildlife except for the occasional flying fish. As we get further south, we’ll see more wildlife and I’m looking forward to it.

We’re heading southeast now, to avoid an ever-intensifying area of high pressure that could really slow us up. We’ve made good headway on both Pindar and Solidaires and I am loath to risk this.

All in all, we’re sailing along nicely at the moment. A lot can happen in 2,600 miles.

Fair winds,

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