Written by David Townsend

9, October 2005

Position 08°58’652N 019°28’204W

363Nm off ‘Tana’ – Sierra Leone
586Nm out from Ilha De Sao Vicente
610Nm from the Equator
721Nm to St Helena

Hi dear friends, thank you for following our journey. Here’s this weeks update.

As we enter week eleven of our journey I have to apologise for those who have been trying to follow us via our website as it appears to not have been updated since we left. I hope to have this resolved very soon. Also our commiseration’s to the Cabo Verde football team who yesterday were knocked out of the football world cup qualifying rounds but congratulations to Angola who for the first time qualified.

Life on board:
It is very warm here during the day and with no wind you soon become very lethargic and the nights are not much better too. The food supply is okay apart from a shortage of flour, apparently bread is not very popular in Cabo Verde and so difficult to obtain, indeed in the two weeks there we only managed to obtain two loafs however the bread making is progressing well and no avid side effects reported. I have enough flour for eight more loafs which on average each loaf last two days. I am hoping to restock when / if we arrive in St Helena. Depending on the weather.

Water consumption is holding up well with an average of 8ltrs per day being used, we have enough in the tanks for 45 days (360ltrs) plus 50ltrs in two jerry cans. Water is available in St Helena.

We have spent the last four days virtually becalmed in the doldrums with only light winds at night however we have managed to move on a little by using the very frequent squalls. We set the sails for around 30kn of wind then using the squalls to hop between them, this combined with the convection wind during the night has meant we are at lest moving forward albeit at an average of around 12Nm per 24hrs.

The weather data indicates 12kn of wind off Sierra Leone however we are hoping this will came a little closer to us during the night as we have had 10-12kn for the past 13hrs, the longest period of wind since entering the doldrums. Once clear, weather data indicates 15-20kn for the next few days at least.

I have decided to abandon the 4 on 4 off, with the dog watches to ensure rotation in favor off;
19:00hrs – 20:59hrs
21.00hrs – 22:59hrs
23:00hrs – 02:59hrs
03:00hrs – 06:59hrs
07:00hrs – 11:00hrs
Basically to cover the hours of darkness then after that reduced hours so not to be exposed to the sun for too long. We thereon usually work 2hr shifts.

The boat:
No major problems other than a very annoying squeak, which had developed in the gooseneck fitting. On further investigation it would appear who ever fitted this previously did so incorrectly for the top of boom was grinding on the fitting. Several washers resolved this and now all is peaceful once more.

The sail bag (lazy bag) still is giving us some needle practice, okay it’s basically had it and will be replaced in Cape Town but for now it will keep going.

The only other problem was caused by the very fine dust in the wind blowing across Mindelo (Ilha De Sao Vicente – Cabo Verde), on the very fist deployment of the Genoa the port hand winch failed to lock which meant I had to use a rope stopper to hold the sheet in while I stripped it down, The fine dust got in between the locking plates (4 off), although strong they rely on very small springs to push them out, once cleaned and re greased they worked fine.

Well that’s if for now I hope all of you are okay, take care of yourselves but before I go here’s this weeks quote.

‘To all the sweethearts in all the ports of call, may they never meet’

Fair winds, calm seas.