14/11/2015 – Beating the clock

The narrow band of favourable current continued as far as the Agulhas Current which then swept us south towards our destination. We had some lovely, fast sailing maintaining an average of over 7.5 knots with Exody within 10 - 15 miles of us for the last two days. The 2 knots of favourable current was a great help as the wind slowly dropped, the 'knock on' effect of reducing winds was calmer seas so we could still sail sail relatively fast. Big seas tend to throw the boat around and hamper progress, in 30 knots of wind we struggled to make 5 knots through the water on Wednesday when we also had a 1.5 - 2 knots current against us! Approaching the Agulhas Current, up to 50 miles wide, we set a course for Cape St Lucia, north of our final destination. The current can flow at 5 knots though we didn't find anything that fast however we had to keep altering course on the autopilot to maintain the westerly course we wanted. Eventually we altered course again for Richards Bay. Unfortunately the wind had died away a bit at dawn so our progress was not as fast as previously but we entered the harbour just before 1630 (La Reunion time). It was a wonderful feeling to have beaten the weather systems, to have come through some very challenging conditions virtually unscathed and to step ashore in Africa. Joyce

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