Voyage to SA – part 1

Day 1: The first 24 hours – Wednesday

An easterly was forecast a couple of days earlier than we expected, heralding the time to leave Madagascar. Our departure point was Moramba Bay, 100nm south of Nosy Be. Richards Bay is 1200nm to the southeast. Bread and cakes baked; items stowed; and routes plotted. Ready to go!

Early south-easterly winds of 20knots gave us a boost away from land and surrounding shoals, but after five hours we’d slowed down as the wind dropped to less than 10 knots. Hoisting the spinny didn’t help as the winds disappeared entirely leaving our chute looking like a popped balloon. Motoring an hour or so, the afternoon winds from the northwest gave us the ride we needed for rest of the daylight hours. When the conditions to leave a safe harbour are favourable, yachts appear out of the bays and anchorages all vying for a position to harness their bit of wind to their next destination. Leaving the same morning from Moramba were two other yachts, plus on VHF we heard the crews of Freya and Kantala who had both left that day from further south. We hadn’t seen them since Port Louis and wished them well on their voyage. We’d probably see them along the way. Coruisk is a day or so behind us.

Easterlies were again expected, and like clockwork, at 10pm we had 20kn winds blowing us along, although there was a bit of cloud activity producing variable winds. These winds stayed through our watches pushing us gently along in the right direction Distance for the first 24 hours was a comfortable110nm; not bad in these fickle winds.

Day 2: Thursday
A repeat of day one. Wind from east, swinging to northwest for the afternoon. By early evening the breeze dropped to 8kn from the south as we crossed the extensive bank around Cape Saint Ander. This would increase and shift more favourably to a southeast breeze. Behind us I can see the starboard light of a yacht. A half moon glows on the horizon. This will grow to full in the next few days.

Current position: Friday 31st a October: 16*30.95S 043*30.58E. Crew condition: well fed and okay!

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Sailing the world aboard Blue Heeler
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