Finally wind, enough to need to furl some gennie and drop in the second reef at 03:00 this morning. Waves broke over the deck before hand and stupidly we had hatches open to try to cool the boat. The saloon table and the forward heads got a dollop of salt water so need a good rinse down in daylight. When the sun came up around 06:30 it revealed a bank of cloud across the eastern horizon that gradually spread across the sky. It was chilly.
By 9:00am we’d passed the first waypoint and have 1140 nm to the next one, the Eastern end of the Gulf Transit corridor. We should reach there around March 1. The wind is up but northerly, Temptress reaching at six or seven knots. Not the easiest point of sail for life on board as everything slants down to port but it doesn’t use diesel and it’s fast. Complexity is now some forty miles behind us and slightly to the south, swept by the current overnight they encountered fishing nets they had to dodge.
During the day we saw one tanker on an almost reciprocal course that passed a few hundred metres astern, two others were spotted on the AIS too distant to be visible above the horizon. The wind eased a little and veered a tad east of north so the boat was sailing flatter, though still reaching. The reefs remain in.
Late afternoon Kevin spotted the autopilot control head had lost power again. George, the autopilot continued to steer quite happily. This time though the controller didn’t respond to disconnecting and reconnecting at either end of its cable, nor to turning everything off and on. A pain but not desperate as we can alter course from the Axiom unit at the chart table, it simply won’t be that quick in an emergency.
Not impressed with the quality of modern Raymarine kit, this lot was installed in 2017 after a lightning strike wiped out the previous set. The wind transducer has provided no speed only direction for months, the radio keeps complaining its lost its position (this after being replaced under warranty for a different fault), there is a mystery network corruption issue that prevents AIS info from being displayed anywhere on the network plus this latest issue. Raymarine’s support is of ‘the send it back to us’ type. Scarcely practical from SE Asia.
Another failure was our kindle; this afternoon, despite being fully charged, it wouldn’t wake up. It’s happened before in the dim and distant past but neither of us can remember how to reset it. It’s a very early model, an old friend I used to travel everywhere with when I was working (ie pre2009). Hopefully we can get it working again as the skipper is midway through re-reading Patrick OBrien’s delightful sailing sagas.
Sunset was another glorious affair with everything for 360 degrees turning pink! Complexity are now some 50 nm back but sailing higher with a better wind angle than they had been.
On a different subject the skipper despite saying for weeks that Djibouti is 300 miles out of our way, realised today just how far Massawa is (400nm) from the western end of the 500nm transit corridor through the Gulf of Aden. Add that to him realising that Djibouti port is located much closer to the Gulf than he had thought (its just 100nm from the end of the Gulf Transit corridor and 70nm south of Bab al Mandeb), we might stop there if it gives us a chance to re-cable the wayward control head.
Noonday Run: 136nm
Noon Distance to Suez: 3020nm approx