Days 11-13

Date: Sept. 12, 2016, 4 a.m. Position: 19 40.42 S, 65 49.75 E

These past three days have gone by in a pleasant cadence. Easy downwind sailing in 20 knots, mellowing seas, sometimes wing-on-wing and sometimes deep-reaching. We’re at that point in the passage now that time has shattered and we are like the sunrise and the sunset, making circles over the horizon each day in our sea routine.

On September 11th we finally shook one reef out of the double-reef main. When I hoisted the sail, several mummified and very stinky flying fish appeared, pasted to the sail right in front of my face. They had jumped into the sail at some point in days past, falling into the flake. Our mainsail now has a few greasy black smudges and many fish scales glued all over it, just under the second reef.

Privateer is finally nearing Africa! This has been a dream for so long now, and it’s hard to believe that we’re actually within reach now. We have been very fortunate on this passage, one of our finest so far. We’ve been very lucky with the winds, which have held steady and blown us now to within 89 miles of Rodrigues before we had to fire up the engine.

We have a new record for Privateer’s longest tack: 1,910 miles in 13 days on port tack!! Rodrigues is a very significant landmark for us: it is on the opposite side of the earth as Oakland, CA, which was our easternmost point of the voyage. With the initial Alaska leg and the south-north detour to NZ, and the general southern leg from Oakland to Marquesas, we have sailed about 3/4 the way around the world distance wise, but we are now geographically 1/2 way around the world now. For the first time, we will be getting closer to home now with each mile sailed west. The majority of our sea miles are behind us now, as we take off on a more direct line toward North America.

Under power now, we should reach Rodrigues sometime tomorrow afternoon. It’s kind of nice to end the long passage with a bit of a motor. We’re re-filling our water tanks with the water-maker, taking long hot showers, topping up the battery bank, and cleaning the salt crystals off the boat. The seas have settled right down, with the swells marching under the boat in orderly 2-meter rows from the SE. Thank you, Indian Ocean!

Leave a Reply