Day 12: Whose there?

Exhausted physically and mentally pretty much covers how I am feeling. With only 30 min of sleep in the past thirty hours and adding to that frayed nerves, I would expect this to be a good result.
In all my ocean sailing adventures, I have not seen seas as rough as what I experienced two nights ago!
Conditions grew calmer as each hour passed. I tried to get some sleep during the day, but sleep would not come for whatever reason.
Twice I thought I heard someone say something. I even went to see who it was that had called out. When I started to hear traffic noises, I realised my brain was not functioning optimally.
As nightfall came, a few light rain squalls passed, reducing the temperature slightly. I made sure I ate something and then crawled into my bunk.
I was out for 4 hrs straight. A quick nature break in the blue bucket. I wonder how this will go down with Judy if I leave it on my nightstand at home 😱 so convenient.
Then back asleep for another few hours only to be woken by the AIS alarm shrieking. The first boat I have seen in days.
Shew, it feels good to be through the other side of the big blow. It’s still 20 kt wind with a messy sea, but I’ll take it any day over what was ” The Big Blow.”
The following four days’ weather forecast shows light to moderate SE. That shifts the challenge from survival to coping! The good news is we can start the push West and find the trade winds.
Breakfast: skipped
Food: butter chicken with rice
Snack bars, salami stick and droewors.
Sea life: Leach’s Storm Petrel

Day 11: Rock’ n Roll

Lots of white water 🌊 on top of what looks like double-decker buses rolling in. The amount of energy that created these swells must be enormous.
I can’t remember when I last saw such a big volume of white water. First, you have this huge wall of a wave coming at you from behind. Then the crest of the wave starts to trip over itself. For a moment, you see the “green room”. The light from the other side of the wave today was not green but a beautiful turquoise blue. It’s gone in a flash, replaced by bouncing white frothing water.
9 out of 10 times, the white water washes over Osiyeza’s stern and cockpit, giving a quick forward shove.
The other time it’s the green room that breaks on top of Osiyeza, and the white water tries its hardest to get into the cabin through the washboards and hatch seals. The shove from this type is much more forceful and often leads to a short surf down the face of the wave.
Today is much like last night. Hatches locked, and Osiyeza pointed DownWind. 🤞 Cross the fingers and hold on tight.
I no longer cross my fingers because Osiyeza has proven to be a very seaworthy little craft.
I still do hold on tight.
The ocean’s mood has progressively deteriorated as the hours of the day go by. Around 17:00, I took another peak standing up through the top hatch.
I am very grateful for this design feature. It enables me to stand safely even during the most violent heeling without concern that, one, I might fall overboard, and two, it’s seldom that water can reach the hatch this high to get inside.
When I popped up to study the ocean, I could feel the wind had increased and see that the white water from the sea horses was being blown away as a spray. I stick my electronic wind gauge on its selfie stick out the hatch for a few minutes to get the latest reading. Gusting over 30kn.
No sooner had I put it away than Osiyeza was hit on the starboard quarter by the biggest white water yet. I was knocked down to the one side, and Osiyeza went over almost 90% and almost immediately sat upright again. Only a little bit of water into the cabin through the open hatch.
A minute later, another wave hit from the other side and over we went. Not as far as the first time.
Rock’ n roll.
I say out loud to Osiyeza,” 🤬 it looks like we have our work cut out for us tonight.”
I suddenly have an image of Captain Dan sitting on top of the rigging on the shrimp boat during a storm, cussing at the top of his lungs, and Forest Gump telling him, “Mama says not to use those words, Captain Dan?”
At 19:00, SAST is a scheduled check-in with the shore team and Judy.
During this time, Osiyeza fell down the face of a large wave. We were going so fast that it looked like we had a rooster’s tail out the back.
This was definitely the fastest we have surfed before.
It honestly gave me a big fright.
The water rushed up the paddle cutaways, swamping the cockpit, trying to tear the satellite antenna off its mounting but was saved by the sea anchor bag lashed to the roll bar just in front of it. Everything was OK but not what I was keen to do all night.
Not long after that, we were hit broadside by a crumbling wall of water. I was surprised by how violent the impact was. I went flying, but as I held my cell phone with two hands, my elbows took the brunt of my fall against the side. Eina!
Osiyeza rolled passed 90°. I could see the water through the top hatch. It felt like ages, but I could not have been more than half a second, and we were regular side up again. This one gave me an even greater fright but also put a little more confidence in the design concept.
A design feature that is unusual for kayaks or rowing boats is having a fixed keel or centre board. They often have lifting boards they can push down to help track across the wind.
I sacrificed some drag for the righting moment that a fixed keel offers. To go a step further, there is a 48kg lead bulb at the bottom of the keel to make sure that we pop the right side up very smartly.
Osiyeza has even more tricks up her sleeve. There are two water ballast tanks. One in the bow and one in the stern. I won’t go into the technical aspect of the stepped hull other than to say filling the tanks with seawater will increase the beam of the kayak by 10cm. With the extra weight and beam, she becomes more stable.
Tonight I pumped the rear ballast tank full to make the stern heavier and hopefully reduce the surfing abilities. She definitely feels more stable now. It’s like having another Richard sitting on the back deck all night.
Oh boy, what a shocking night.
No sleep was had.
Maybe the darkness of an overcast night makes things feel and sound dreadful.
Wave after wave crashed over us. Wild out of-control surfing and one impressive attempt at a pitchpole.
Pitch pole: when you bury the bow into a wave, and the stern tries to overtake it, much like a somersault.
As always, I was just a passenger when it happened. The bow buried itself at the bottom of the wave, and the stern seemed to keep going, but eventually, it just flopped back down but lying on its port side. Cockpit facing downwind.
Getting Osiyeza to head in the correct direction took quite a while.
It’s been relentless.
Maybe I should have used the sea anchor instead of running with the storm. I would have lost two days just sitting there, and I am sure sleep would have been deprived either way.
Co-ordinates: -23.2148, 8.8308
Breakfast: yoghurt and nuts
Food: chilli con Carne with noodles
snack bars, salami sticks and droewors.
Sea life: did not spend much time outside
Amount raised for Operation Smile: R156,963
No of new smiles: 28

Day 10: Waiting for the storm!

Waiting for the storm!
Routine is important.
It’s good for the mind to have a structure to follow. Basic things like brushing your teeth or cleaning your face.
Today started off with black coffee. A short stint on the paddles watching the sunrise and the colours change.
There were lots of plankton streaks again. Some of the position organisms shine like glitter when got by the sunlight. Beautiful to witness.
Just then, a school of dolphins came charging past. Jumping from crest to crest with a sense of urgency. They completely ignored me, but I took seeing them as a positive omen. Hope their hunt was fruitful.
On-board entertainment.
I have been listening to the “Stuff you should know” podcast, and today’s one was on “beekeeping”, and yesterday was the history of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you can get past the drone of their voices, you warm up to them. They do make the podcast very informative.
I am also listening to an audiobook called FEAR by Ranulph Fiennes and have a David Baldacci book going on the kindle. There are a few Netflix movies and series that I have downloaded as well.
Everything that can be prepared for the big blow has been done. The wind has started to increase around 16:00.
Not yet as strong as forecast, so hopefully, the system has dialled off a bit. Time will tell.
I get to spoon my paddle again.
I will bring it to bed with me tonight. I did this a while back as well. I am concerned that the breaking crests of the waves that crash over the back of Osiyeza may break the paddle. It was a very tough, bouncy and stuffy night. All hatches latched down firmly. Osiyeza set on an NNW heading to run with the wind and swell, although her course would range from WNW to ENE.
The sound of the waves bashing into the sides and over the back is amplified 100 times inside the essential carbon fibre drum. Even with the bubble wrap insulation, it takes some getting used to.
I have also become quite used to surfing down waves headfirst, lying on my back. Please do not try this at home.
A few times during the night, my feet got wet from waves breaking into the washboards. Not a lot but still enough of a spray to wake me up imaging the worst. I have learnt not to sit up straight away.
The big swell arrives today with a little more wind. Each time I go through a new level of discomfort, I know my couch (comfort level) has moved just a little bit more, which is a really good thing for growth.
Co-ordinates: S24.2809, E9.7134
Breakfast: cereal.
Sea life: I saw a turtle, dolphins, plankton
Pre-storm dinner was: Moroccan Chicken with Chickpeas and couscous
“A rich marinated free-range chicken dish smothered in a blend of Morocco spices, ginger, coriander and tomato sauce with chickpeas. Best served with fluffy couscous.”
Fluffy couscous! Guess what? I do have it on board.
The two starches that I dehydrated at home are rice and couscous. I have three tubs of rice and one tub of couscous.

Day 9: Prep for heavy weather

Big wash and prep day.

I have only been wearing two clothing items so far besides the waterproof gear, I have on top when I am paddling. A long sleeve top and full-length leggings. Both are made of Marino wool. This stuff is the best thing since sliced cheese. It just never stinks.

I tested this top for a whole week of cycling to work and back from work, and it never smelt anything like the standard exercise clothing we wear that stinks even after one use.

I washed both items in my special black bucket. I sacrificed 2L of water for the job but kept the last rinse water I used to wet my body before applying my body wash for another shower 🚿.

Even though it may not be the most enjoyable thing, washing yourself with cold water in a cold breeze while trying not to fall off a rocking ship, you somehow feel like a million bucks afterwards.

Note to self: Don’t forget to apply the bum cream.

I was considering filming 🎥 this shores scene. Not sure what your kinks are, but I would not be able to watch it. Especially the part where I go down on my knees and lift the rear end up and off the seat so it, too, can get the royal 🚿 treatment. 😱

Weather report.

Big wind is on its way!
In fact well into the weekend but the worst on Thursday evening and Friday. Gust up to 40kn from the south with 4-5m seas. This will be the biggest challenge Osiyeza and I will encounter.
Attempt #1 I used the sea anchor twice in 30kn+.

This time around, I trusted the design principle. Cabin in the front, so she is made to go downwind and ride with the swells. Like a weather cock the side with the most windage will be blown downwind. In Osiyeza’s case, the cabin/front of the kayak.

We have had a few days with 30kn+ winds, and we rode it out by running with the sea and wind. Osiyeza handled it like a champion, which can be seen by the large milages.

40kn+ and 4m+ swell for two days makes my balloon knot tighten!

I spend my time preparing Osiyeza by stowing everything away and adding extra seal tape to the two hatches. Generally, getting things ready.
Moved some food into the cabin.
I will also move the EPIRB into the cabin lest a wave breaks it out of its mounting.

Today I also did a sea anchor deployment test to ensure it’s all connected correctly but, more importantly, so I remember how to do it. It’s been a while. It went OK, but the stowage bag that North Sails made is a definite improvement.

The question is whether to use the sea anchor or to run with the sea.

I must make the call before I am too far in the thick of things. The last thing I want is to be mucking about in the cockpit, taking waves over my head or, worse yet, getting rolled while playing with lots of rope around my feet. Little moon and cloud cover won’t help the matter.

Wednesday, the winds will start increasing, and by Thursday evening, it should be at full strength.

Hopefully, after Saturday, we can start our left turn towards South America just as the Cape to Rio yachts set off. Wonder if I will see any of them.

Co-ordinates: S25°13″07′ E010°29″13′
Breakfast: cereal.
Food: Curry chicken and rice
Sea life: Blue bottles, flying fish, plankton.

Day 8: What time is it?

Yesterday’s strong winds with a short steep swell helped us achieve some excellent milage for Christmas day. Today’s conditions have calmed quite considerably.
This allowed me to check the solar panel locker for any water ingress. You may remember that the first time I checked, it was bone dry.🎉
When I slid my hand this time, there was no dust to be found. I pulled my hand out to check my fingertips. Yip, no dust, but there was moisture.
Condensation or seawater was my next thought.
😛 So what would any investigator worth his salt do? Yip, the tongue top test.
Crap, salt water! For goodness 🤬 sake, how can it still be leaking?
Last time we had two defensive measures in place
1) waterproof box
2) waterproof connectors.
Both failed.
This time I added another barrier.
I cast the new matching connectors in foam to prevent water from ever reaching the new connectors.

The solar connectors inside foam blocks

It seems as if the waterproof box is no longer waterproof. Even so, I am confident that the connectors will not even get a drop of salt water on them.
I had a good fresh water wash this morning but noticed the beginnings of gunwale bum. The case of the dreaded inflamed, pimple-like hair follicles that, if not treated, can progress to boils or worse. Last thing I need when I am sitting on my backside 24/7.
Out with Sudocrem. Perhaps I should have used the cream right from the beginning as a precautionary measure. Let’s watch this space as it progresses. Hopefully regresses, but you know what I mean.
Be warned that if it gets worse, I will likely take a picture of it, so let’s hope for an improvement. 🤞
Some strange things have been happening to the clocks on board.
My cell phone and Garmin watch somehow show different times, even though I ensured they were the same a few days ago. I even made contact with the shore team and was an hour early.
Today again, it’s happened that the times were out. I do realise that I have travelled across a time zone by going West, but I want the clocks to remain on South African time, so I always make contact with the time that suits their daily lives. On board, life just goes ahead according to the sun.
Well, the Garmin watch is quite a fancy unit. A Quantic 6 was given to me by one of my biggest supporters Seaport Supply. This watch can even talk to my chart plotter, autopilot, and a gazillion other very clever marine apps. So I took a deep breath and dived into the rabbit hole of watch settings. Eventually, I found the time settings. As I was re-adjusting the time, it asked whether I wanted to sync with my phone or GPS.
The default was GPS, which automatically updates to the correct time zone.
All sorted. Now I should have no excuse to miss another shore team check-in.
Thank you to everyone who sent messages of encouragement, strength and hope. I really appreciate every one of them.
I now have to move on and focus on an upcoming two days of gale force Southerly winds with gusts predicted up to 40kn. The biggest test yet is coming.
Co-ordinates: S 28°45.33 E014°00.86
Breakfast: finished the mince pies
Food: not hungry but did have Indonesian Chicken with lemongrass and rice.
Bird of the day: Great-winged Gadfly Petrel.
Sea life: gazillion more blue bottles

Christmas Day

It was a day with some highs but not a good one overall.
It started with a call to speak to my lovely Judy (current and 1st wife.)
This was via WhatsApp, believe it or not. We chatted about the day ahead with her family. Jeez, I could be there instead of on this bucking bronco in the middle of nowhere. (1st warning sign.)
I texted the shore team and heard about their Christmas 🎄 family fun. Received a bunch of well-wishing messages from mates. Thanks. Missing all my mates. (2nd warning sign.)
In the afternoon, I managed to call my mother to wish her merry Christmas, let her know her precious laat lametjie is ok and thank her for the home-baked minced pies she snuck aboard Osiyeza when I left. Yum.
I found four gifts that I got to open. In one, Judy put a little 100ml plastic bottle filled with soet wyn and some sweets. I think I will have a sip tonight, New Year and on my Birthday. Osiyeza is no longer a dry boat!
Inside another were my favourite local candy chocolate, smarties, and a kitcat. Thanks, Ralph & Barbs.
Mom’s gift was a stress ball with an image of a cat face. It was not the prettiest cat picture to start with, but the poor thing is ugly as sin once you squeeze.
When I left on the last attempt, I was given a bunch of cards on which people had written short notes. Words of encouragement and that sort of thing. I never read any of them then, as the trip was over in 16 days. I have them here with me as they are as relevant this time as they were the first time.
Feeling a little low, I thought I would read one or two to pick me up.
The first one I took out was from my father.
I returned from last year’s attempt just in time to see him in the hospital before he died.
I won’t elaborate as to what he wrote as I can’t see my screen through my watery eyes right now.
I have some of his ashes with me on Osiyeza. He had always wanted to sail across the ocean with me, so I hope this will count for something.
Let me just say that today goes down in my personal history book as my lowest emotional state. I can’t even begin to describe how emotionally mixed up I am right now.
I am digging deep, very deep, to keep this in check. I guess my blogs can’t all be humorous. Sorry.
I’ll chat with you again once everything is back in the boxes where they belong.
Co-ordinates: S26°56,21 E012°15,54
Food: 2x mince pie. Not hungry
Bird: I don’t think I saw one.
Sea life: more blue bottles

Day 6: What’s cooking?

It turned into one of those cooking show my wife so enjoys.
For breakfast, I decided to try something different. It was one of those last-minute, so why not pop into the shopping cart moments a few days before leaving? It’s been many, many years since I have had breakfast cereal.
I added powdered milk to the cereal and poured water over it. It was pleasantly tasty, but I suspect it’s mostly due to the sugar.
I followed this with a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise. Almost immediately, I felt the kids tugging for a trip to the pool. I believe a routine is developing.
Now that the salami sticks are finished, I was pleasantly surprised that I did not have to look for too long for the biltong. Sometimes the housekeeper surprises me.
Usually, it’s “Mr. Rich, Que!”
Today I felt a little sun shy ☀ but I did a good number of paddling hours in the afternoon and evening after it had somewhat clouded over and cooled down.
Great news from the shore team. Got the go-ahead from Albert to make a little extra water 🚿 but only after the battery is charged and the sun is full on the panels. This means I will smell lovely when Santa 🎅 brings me all my gifts.
(PS I was particularly well-behaved this year 😉 oh! Do you think he will mind powdered milk with his cookie 🥛🍪)
The day’s highlight was a very short visit by a school of dolphins 🐬. My pace is way too slow for much “bow-riding fun,” so they moved on before I could get any snapshots for you. 📸
Co-ordinates: S 28°45.33 E014°00.86
Breakfast – Cereal with milk + coffee
Lunch – popcorn, biltong, energy bar.
Dinner – creamy parmesan chicken & Noodles
Bird of the day: Cape Petral
Sea life: Dolphins
🛠 A little watermaker maintenance on the brine exit pipe was required today. I spotted it leaking (on the biltong hunt), and it’s in the same locker where most of my food is kept. Nobody likes soggy snacks.
In my wisdom, I have used a larger diameter pipe than I should have, and the hose clamp cannot give it a decent seal.
I removed the pipe and wrapped several layers of insulation tape around the outlet, increasing its size to suit the larger pipe.
💯 fixed.
Last night I went out for a fancy meal at the restaurant at the bugging of the Atlantic. To make you jealous, this is what I chose off the menu.
with basil pesto
A rich and creamy dish made with free-range chicken, In a garlicky mushroom, sundried tomatoes and basil pesto, with a touch of parmesan. It was served on a bed of noodles.
Eat your heart out. These freeze-dried meals from Forever Fresh have been incredible. 

Day 5 :Good, clean and fresh tra la la la

This week’s salami stick rations are finished already. That’s the problem when you can reach them from your bed, galley, lounge and even the bathroom.😔
On a positive note, I still have some biltong and droewors. I just need to find where the housekeeper put them.
Slow day today. Very light SW wind. Trying to keep an NW direction which is almost across the wind. No need to paddle hard. I keep on telling myself it’s not a race. You have missed the Carnival (17th Feb) already. 😭
Currently, I am only consuming about 10% of my battery capacity (200Ah) per day, and by 9 am in the morning, they are fully charged again.
So I am considering running the watermaker for 20min longer, giving me about 2L of fresh water that I can use for a daily shower. 🚿
Over the top luxury, but how lekker would that be? Need to get permission from the shore team first. 🤞
I got slightly sunburnt from taking a long freshwater wash. “Good, clean and fresh tra la la.”
Note to self: introduce the suns 🌞 kiss to the paler areas a little bit at a time. Don’t rush the relationship.
One of my viewing pleasures is the YouTube channels that I follow. Quite a range of topics, from aquaculture and sailing to travel adventure. When I train using the paddling ergo, I usually watch one of these to help with the monotony. I downloaded the last few episodes of “ITCHY BOOTS.” A Dutch girl is riding her motorbike around the world. Healthy and real viewing pleasure.
Co-ordinates: S 30° E015°
Breakfast – apricot yogurt with mixed seeds & nuts
Lunch – junks snacks
Dinner – Tuscan Chicken, rice & fresh sprouts
Bird of the day: Shy Mollymawk (best guess)
Sea life:  Flying fish

Day 4: Forehead warning

Just before sunrise, the AIS alarm screamed at me.
Acting right away like a diligent seaman, I sat up and knocked my head on the deck head (yes, that’s spelled correctly and means the “ceiling.”)
Recovering from that, I adjusted by crashing my forehead against the fan.
Beep beep beep 🤬 said both the AIS and I out load.
The fishing vessel “Lucerne” was on a dangerous heading with Osiyeza.
I decided to use my fancy VHF radio to call and check if they had spotted us on their systems.
Why are the knobs and buttons on my radio all sticky. Grrr. I tried three times with no luck. Bastards are sleeping, I thought, as they are only a few miles away.
Again the alarm goes off. We are still on converging courses.
Ok, I’ll just call them up on channel 16.
“Fishing Vessel Lucerne, Lucerne, Lucerne this is Osiyeza, Osiyeza, Osiyeza. Do you copy?”
Zip, nada, bugger all.
I feel a drop of water run down my face. I wipe it away, thinking, “I should have replaced the hatch seals before I left”
Lucerne and Osiyeza were now less than a mile apart and still on converging courses.
Typically other vessels would be required to keep clear of a vessel engaged in fishing for obvious reasons. However, I was drifting with the wind and could not actually steer one way or another to avoid the upcoming oopsie.
I called him again, and this time, I got a reply. No, he can not see my lights or hear me very well. I keep on breaking up. A little while later, my AIS position appeared on his screen.
Every time I was in the trough of a swell, my coms would cut out. That’s because VHF is line of sight only and cannot transmit through or over a swell. The AIS uses the VHF antenna as well.
Was the swell BIG, or is Osiyeza small? 🙃 It was a little of both today.
It was a South African flag fishing boat, and we had a quick chat, and he promptly turned to keep us apart.
Remember the sticky knobs.
I switched the red cabin light to white light to see my GPS and VHF radio had turned into a murder scene. Blood smeared everywhere.
The hatch was not leaking. It was the scratch on my forehead from the fan. I guess a daily aspirin does make the blood thinner and leak longer.
PS I am unsure if it was due to the head trauma, but the kids boycotted their pool session today! That is all I am going to say about that.
In the afternoon, I paddled over a pinnacle. It went from 2000m deep to 200m. The current was phenomenal. I was doing 10km/hr at some stages. Bonus!
Lots of fishing boats about. I received a call from the fishing vessel “Boetie Bert,” wanting to know all about Osiyeza. He sounded just like you imagine Boetie to look like. Local is lekker!
I made 🍿 popcorn for lunch.
I fed the wildlife.
No, not when I fed the fish on the first night but today while padding over the pinnacle. The bird life increased dramatically. I suspect mainly due to the number of fishing boats. Why would I think that?
The Southern Giant Petrals started to consistently swoop low next to me and land in the water as soon as they had passed the stern. They would then put their heads under water obviously looking for fish scraps from the fishing boats.
At this moment, some popcorn blew out of my hand and into the sea, only to be picked up by the next swooping Petral. I wonder if it liked the Perri-Perri spice?
Co-ordinates: S 30°20’53 E015°12’52
Breakfast – Jungle Oats bar
Lunch – salami sticks, a biscuit & popcorn
Dinner – Lasagna & noodles
Bird of the day: Southern Giant Petrel
Sea life: more blue bottles
Amount raised for Operation Smile: R148,657
No of smiles changed: 27 😀

Day 3: Surfing the Atlantic

Started off very civilized. I even managed to get some good shut-eye during the night. Feeling positive.
There was not much to report for the morning other than all the elements had lined up and we were cruising. Not hard paddling but consistent.
One thing I wanted to check today was the airtight rear compartment. This is where the back solar panel wires live and where water leaked into that caused the corrosion and termination of attempt #1.
A few days with waves washing over the stern should reveal if the leak had been repaired.
With much trepidation, I unscrewed the inspection hatch and ran my fingers around the inside, feeling for any moisture. 🤞
When I pulled my hand out, my fingertips were covered in fiberglass dust. Yes, dry as bone dust!
Whoohoo! Not a drop of water. 👍
Around midday, I was checking in with the shore team when this happened.
Me: Oh wow. Osi just surfed down a 🌊. Pretty exciting and scary all at once.
Albert: 😮 how big a wave was that…
Me: No idea. I was lying down on my back texting you. Going head-first down a wave is an odd feeling.
The cockpit flooded, and I almost lost my black 💩bucket. No, it’s not tied on, but one would think it should be!
TWO critical things learned from that experience.
1)The bucket stays inside tonight.
2) no more paddling today until it calms down. It’s getting a bit dodgy to be outside.
3) I guess I will have to spoon my paddle tonight because it must also spend the night safely inside.
3) Osiyeza is the champion and I possibly a hindrance. 😜
Oh and that reminds me of a silly joke.
“There are three kinds of people in the world. Those who can count and those who can’t” 🙃
Hatches battened down; I plan to ride this out with the building wind and sea. If it gets out of hand, I can turn face into the wind and deploy my “series drogue” (similar outcome but different to a sea anchor). North sails have made me a cockpit bag that sits behind my seat and keeps the series drogue ready for action, blocking some of the water that washes up and over the back deck and down my neck.
Had a relatively close overtake with a small ship. I chatted with him on the radio to ask if he could see me.
“Yes on AIS”
Can you see me on the water?
Please let me know when you do eventually spot me.
When he was a beam to me, he called to say he had spotted me.
“Very low in the water. Waves hide you.”
Happy to have a working AIS on board. Even if MarineTraffic sometimes shows me in the Indian Ocean
Co-ordinates: S 31 12.57′ E015 55.13
Breakfast – yogurt and nuts
Lunch – salami stick & Jungle Oats bar
Dinner – Lamb Tangine with noodles
Bird of the day: Can’t remember 🕊
Sea life: a lonely blue bottle
Amount raised for Operation Smile: R138,157
No of smiles changed: 25