Land Ho!

Date: Jan. 28, 2017, noon Position: 16 48.33 S, 4 31.44 W

All day today we reduced sail and tried to slow the boat down as much as possible, so that we don’t make landfall during the middle of the night. Even with heavily reefed sails and a light breeze, Privateer still wants to zoom through the waves at 6-7 knots, as if on an invisible conveyor belt. She’s excited to see St. Helena! We’ve made excellent passage time. If we didn’t have to slow down, we’d have made Cape town to St. Helena in 11 days, 12 hours. It looks like we’ll still landfall before day 12, for an average overall speed above 6 knots.

We finally got our blue sky back again today, giving the batteries a much-needed boost. The puffy trade-wind clouds returned and the sea turned that electric glowing blue again, bluer than blue, like a 4th dimension. Making the rounds on deck this afternoon I scooped up the usual clutter of squid and flying fish, as I checked the trim of the sails.

Landfall is always an exciting and apprehensive time. There’s much to do, much to think about. At sunset, “Land-ho!” we made out the faint outline of St. Helena among the clouds on the horizon. We will stand off until daylight, for a safe approach to the “harbor”, which is nothing more than an area in the sea at the base of towering rocky cliffs.

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