Well yesterday afternoon was, again, better. We set the assymetric at 1300 and were doing 6 ish knots for most of the afternoon, when the wind veered more astern we tried a poled out genoa on the starboard side as well but this didn’t really work and by sunset, with the wind falling off again we were down to a full main with the wind astern or fine on the starboard quarter.
We saw another yacht, ‘Woody’ who has gone a little further South than us but although we are picking up AIS at about 100 miles for ships we’re not getting hers above about ten miles so suspect she has an internal or low aerial on her AIS, it’s possible we’ll see her again at some point.
Alastair woke me up, quite correctly, for a tanker, with all lights blazing who had a prredicted closest position of approach of about a quarter of a mile. She seemed to have sodium deck lights fully lit so it was unlikely that she could see much through her bridge windows, she was about ten degrees on our port bow and we both altered course a little to Starboard which was fine.She almost certainly saw us on the AIS because we’re only showing a masthead tricolour light which won’t be particularly visible above 2 miles. There is a lot of shipping around as we are close to the Mauretanian coast and with much shipping being diverted around the cape from Suez it’s been fairly busy but I’d expect that to change quite quickly as we make miles to the West.
This morning’s excitement was a full bilge and a bit of a smell, which Stephen had put it down to the skipper going to the loo. Initially I was a little worried that we’d lost water from a tank into the bilge but after some investigation it turned out to be the grey water tank (where all the water from the basins and showers (not yet) goes from) which has a pump which goes on and off automatically to pump it over the side. The pump was leaking so everything from the grey water tank was going into the bilge. As I had a spare pump I’ve now changed this and things are, we hope, back to normal. The bilge pump dealt with the excess water.
Wildlife yesterday included a turtle swimming past which was brilliant to see, it was Stephen who spotted this one; as Sue says, normally Alastair has the sharpest eyes but this was a good bit of lookout work and super to see. He had gone in moments so by the time he had disappeared and we were looking at the identification book we didn’t manage to narrow it down any further than not a leatherback. All the rest of them seem to be brown and identification depends on seeing where the different shell patterns interact with each other. I’ve been privileged to watch leatherback turtles nesting on the beach in Trinidad so was able to rule it out as a leatherback fairly confidently, it helps that they are completely different to anything else.
We covered 110 miles to noon today but are now heading in a SWly direction rather than mostly South, hopefully we’ll pick up some steady trades soon.
Last night was horrible, about 4-5 knots of wind from astern so we were moving at about 1-2 knots but the poor mainsail was slatting about in the swell, I gave up after a couple of hours and motored for an hour to charge the battery during which time the wind picked up a little and we went off at about 4 knots after stopping the donkey.
Cheers for now, Jock and the gang.