SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

December 18, 2008

It has been about 2 weeks since we entered the Southern Hemisphere. During that time, the propagation of the ham radio has been poor. Only now, in the last few days is it coming back. The blog updates have been done by sat-phone.

New York to South Africa (21 of 46)

A fair bit has happened since I last wrote. I shaved my head and started to grow a beard – I always said that when I lost my hair I would grow a beard. Wildlife has been plentiful and a joy to see. I observed a Cory’s Shearwater hunt for flying fish. The seabird would dance about the boat swooping within feet of the hull to the top of the mast then back down, its wings slicing the water as it rode inches above the waves. Then up into the air again, craning its head back and forth looking and changing direction in an instant. The bird would then suddenly stop, collapse its wings and dive disappearing beneath the sea; then up again to start all over. We saw bright pink jellyfish sailing by against the deep blue sea. We watched a pod of dolphins on the hunt, jumping high clear above the waves as they raced by us quickly disappearing into the horizon. I heard, in the middle of the night alone on watch, the breathing of whales. The deep blowing whooshing of the breathing hole sounded like they were right next to the boat. But on the moonless night I never saw them.

We saw our first landfall as we past 12 miles east of the Martin Vas Islands at the breaking of a new day. The jagged and stark cliffs gray against the morning light – oh how fun it would have been to go exploring a place few will ever see.

New York to South Africa (25 of 46)

The weather and wind has been kind and cruel. After crossing the equator (see story below) the sailing was fantastic. Again, we were hard on the wind but the ocean was flat and gentle and the boat put the miles beneath us day after day under blue skies. We started counting the days to Cape Town. Then the winds shifted. First, it was good as we could fly the spinnaker and sailed with it for a few days. But the wind died as the boat glided along the edge of a frontal system. On our portside, towards Africa, there were blue skies. To our right, towards South America, the clouds were flat and steel gray. Now we struggle to make our desired heading to Cape Town. The winds are variable, both in strength and in direction. We try sailing on starboard tack but we head towards Argentina, so we try port tack only to be heading northeast towards Northern Africa. We continue to sail the best we can and enjoy our surrounding waiting for more favorable winds that will come our way. This is ocean sailing and we deal with it as our anticipation and desire of landfall grows with each passing day.

New York to South Africa (26 of 46)

116 Responses to “SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE”

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