Jan 99 Updates

January 2, 1999, Cape Town, South Africa
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Happy New Year to all! Few cob webs still in the head, but overall, a great time was had by the trusty crew of OOB. Everyone in the marina got together for a big barbecue/bring your own party. It’s amazing no one feel off the dock!

There’s some new stuff for the new year here on the Out of Bounds site. Jeff worked all day scanning some new photos into the Image page and improving the quality of the existing ones. We’ve heard from a lot of you that you enjoy using the photos for wallpaper on your computers, so everything is now 1024x768 size. Hope you like them!

January 11, 1999, Cape Town, South Africa
Never a dull moment here on Out of Bounds. Micko and Sally have decided to return to Australia for business reasons this week.  That leaves the three of us to tackle the Atlantic come late January or early February. We’ll miss them and wish them well back in Queensland.

Passage to Australia: AVI 1 MbNew Stuff: Videos!  Jeff was able to digitize some video from the South Pacific. Check out some of the exploits along with dolphins, sharks, and an underwater World War II bomber... All in AVI format which should play on the Microsoft Media Player.

January 13, 1999, Cape Town, South Africa
We’re getting used to the crew shakeups.   Just when it looked like we had the Atlantic crossing crew set, Mick and Sally decided to return to Australia for personal/business reasons. The good news is that we have found two new/replacement crew to do the passage with us. We will be joined by Alex and Silke who will hop off Out of Bounds when we hit the Caribbean.

Bill works on the windlassIn the mean time, we still have quite a bit of work to do to the boat while here in Cape Town. Preparing for a trans-ocean passage is always preceded by a long list of jobs both big and small. Seeing as many people have been away for the holidays, we've only been able to just get started on some of the projects.

Work to the boat includes the following:
Repairing Mainsail (Batten pockets, foot, clew, tell tales, leech line, misc. holes)
Repairing Genoa (Replace UV cover, tell tales, tear at foot, leech leader)

Haul Out
Bow Repair
Bottom Paint- 2 coats, 3 waterline, acid wash waterline.
Gel coat on transom
Polish Hull
Replace zincs
Clean out forward head feeder line

General Repairs
Muffler repair
Oil change/filter
Change fuel filters
Windlass- grease/ tune up
Watermaker servicing and repair.
Ladder repair
Wash deck
Life line netting
Fender Covers
Life raft Servicing
Mercury outboard servicing
Zodiac dinghy servicing
Radar dome inspection
Exterminator (just in case)
Charts for passage
Brass polishing
Brazilian Visas
Replace back-stay lines
Replace furler line and adjust
Replace traveler line
Fill propane tanks
Top off diesel tanks

Off the boat, it has certainly been an interesting first part of 1999 with lots of excitement around the beautiful city of Cape Town. On New Years Day, somebody decided to bring in the new year by detonating a car bomb in one of the waterfront parking lots. Luckily it was not very powerful and only two people were injured. If that was not enough, there have been a number of bomb scares and violent demonstrations. Despite all of the problems, we are still enjoying all that Cape Town has to offer, albeit cautiously.

January 20, 1999, Cape Town, South Africa
Out of Bounds is back in the water after having been on the hard for the last 4 days.  We took the time to do some maintenance and throw on a few coats of anti-fouling paint.  We also thought it would be a good idea to check the rudder and all the through hulls before setting out to cross the Atlantic

Haul out in South Africa
Ahhh, crossing the Atlantic. It’s going to be a long one. The route so far has us stopping at Saint Helena (1700 miles), Fernando de Noronha (another 1800 miles), and then finally reaching Grenada or Barbados (2000 miles).  We haven’t quite decided whether we’ll finish the Atlantic passage at either Grenada or Barbados.

Just a note to anyone that is interested, we will be looking for crew once we hit the Caribbean. One or two people at max.  Probably from mid-March to the beginning of May 1999. It would be cruising from Grenada/Barbados up to the British Virgin Islands/Bermuda.  Let us know if you’re interested by dropping us an e-mail.

January 25, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 1
Alex, Suzie, Lucy, Bill, Alex, and Silke
We’re off! We pulled away from the dock here in Cape Town around 2:00 PM and pointed the bow West for the passage across the Atlantic. There’s five of us onboard now and we hope to make it to Saint Helena in 10 to 11 days. This will be the second longest passage to date with just over 1700 nautical miles to reach Saint Helena.

We’re hoping that the PinOak SSB email will be working this go round. Seeing as we’re close to the base station in New Jersey, our windows to transmit should be much better than when we were in the Indian Ocean.  We should be able to update every day of the passage, so be sure to check back for all the details.

New stuff on the site:
Bob Greymont
Bob GreymontOur official unofficial crew member Bob Greymont from Gypsy Spray is single handing it across the Atlantic.  We’ve set up a radio schedule and will be in contact daily. We’ll be updating his position for family and friends at the Duxbury Cruising Club.

Alex & Silke
Silke and AlexThe married couple that is joining us for the passage across the Atlantic have their bios and pictures up.

Jan 99 Enewsletter
Our Enewsletter (over 600 subscribers!) before we left about what we expect to encounter on this first leg to Saint Helena.

January 25, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 1 (Part 2)
Time:   20:50 hrs
Wind: 30-35 kts SW
COG:   309 deg
SOG:   8-10 kts
ETA:   9 to 10 days
Current:   Negligible
Barometric Pressure: 1012 Mb
Position:   Longitude 017 deg 16.13 E   Latitude 33 deg 05.11 S

Conditions: Winds picking up to 30+ kts. Large seas @ 4-5 meters. Skies clear with a beautiful moon. Quite chilly!

 Highlights: It took quite a while for the enormous silhouette of Table Mountain to disappear, but as we lost sight of land, it dawned on me that we were finally       headed toward home.  What a great feeling it is!

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 - Lat. 31 40.00S, Lon. 14 38.00E.  He was moving along comfortably @ 7-7.5 kts and sounded like Bob always does... HAPPY!

January 26, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 2
Time:   19:15 hrs
Wind: 25-30 kts SW
COG:   305 deg
SOG:   8-10 kts
ETA:   Feb. 2-3
Current:   0.5 kts with us
Barometric Pressure: 1012 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 191 NM
Position:   Longitude 014 deg 43.68 E Latitude 31 deg 37.41 S

Conditions: Winds maintaining 25+ kts from the SW. Seas down to 3 - 3.5 meters. Skies mostly clear and shaping up to be a gorgeous sunset.

Highlights: After 24 hours on passage, everyone is beginning to settle in for the long haul. Considering the conditions, Silke and Alex are doing very well, with only brief bouts of seasickness (nausea only). It's quite refreshing to see their enthusiasm having never been off shore before. Alex keeps grabbing the helm to steer the boat and the resulting smile is worth a thousand words.  At this point we could not ask for better conditions.

Tonight's dinner - vegetable lasagna brought by Alex & Silke and made by Eugene.  Absolutely outstanding!

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 - Lat. 29 58.00S, Lon. 11 56.00E. No current, seas 2 meters, speed 7 kts & comfortable. He's dying to fish but cannot because his freezer is too full.

January 27, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 3
Time:   20:30 hrs
Wind: 16-18 kts SW
COG:   307 deg
SOG:   6-6.5 kts
ETA:   Feb. 2-3
Current:   0.5 kts with us
Barometric Pressure: 1012 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 186 NM
Position:   Longitude 011 deg 58.73 E Latitude 29 deg 34.36 S

Conditions: Winds dropped off to 15+ true from the SW. Seas down to 1-1.5 meters. Skies partly cloudy with a beautiful orange sunset.  Temp cool.

Highlights: With the exception of a rather hasty spinnaker takedown this morning, it has been a fairly quiet day at sea. The wind choked early in the day only to gust up briefly before dying again.  We're not in any hurry, so as long as we can maintain 6 kts over ground, we're happy.  We are running wing on wing at the moment and it hardly feels like we're moving.  If these conditions persist, tomorrow we may have to do some fishing.

For those of you who tried to follow our progress out of Cape Town the first two days, we apologize for the absence of our daily updates. Stayed up all last night trying and finally connected @ 08:00 on 12 MHz.  It seems that the propagation for our PinOak SSB e-mail system is particularly bad at the moment.  The good news is that it will be getting better as we approach the Caribbean.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 - Lat. 28 23S, Lon. 09 37E. 12 kts true wind from the SW. Bar 1011 Mb. He’s doing a lot of reading and chores. All is well.

January 28, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 4
Time:   21:00 hrs (7 hours ahead of New York time)
Wind: 15-20 kts SE
COG:   310 deg
SOG:   6.5-8 kts
ETA:   Feb. 2-3
Current:   0.5 kts against
Barometric Pressure: 1014 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 135 NM
Position:   Longitude 009 deg 48.18E  Latitude 27 deg 59.05S

Conditions: Winds maintaining a steady 15-20 kts true from the SE. Seas very calm. Skies partly cloudy with a haze around the moon. Temperature still very cool.

Highlights: Last night winds became very light and after several hours of sub 5 knot speeds and sails flopping around, we began motorsailing. Then at around 07:00 the wind picked up, maintaining 15-20 knots all day. We ran wing on wing with the staysail and though we weren't breaking any records, it was absolutely beautifully smooth sailing. We're not supposed to pick up the true SE trades until about 25 degrees latitude South, but we think these are the trades and we'll take them anytime. We almost forgot about it in the Indian Ocean, but this is what ocean sailing is supposed to be!

Dusted off the rods and threw out the lines but the fish weren't biting!

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 26 58S,  Lon. 07 37E. bar 1012 Mb. Very little wind @ 12 kts SE. Motorsailing @  around 6 knots. Still reading and fiddling around with things to fix.

January 29, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 5
Time:   19:45 hrs
Wind: 15-20 kts SE
COG:   310 deg
SOG:   8-8.5 kts
ETA:   Feb. 2-3
Current:   0.5 kts against
Barometric Pressure: 1015 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 171 NM
Position:   Longitude 007 deg 33.35E  Latitude 26 deg 16.55S

Conditions: Winds maintaining a steady 15-20 kts true from the SE. Seas moderate with a 1 meter swell from the SE. Skies partly cloudy but otherwise sunny and warm

Highlights: Tradewind sailing. The ideal sailing conditions for any long distance cruising boat. They are what we pray for when passage making and they are what we have with us now.  Unless you've experienced sailing across the Indian Ocean and along the East African coast, you cannot begin to appreciate the pleasure that these conditions are bringing us now.  Fresh, steady winds and gentle seas are a sailor's dream. Though we thrive on fast passage making, we will gladly sacrifice a day here or there for these pristine conditions.

Two events happened today that I want to relate. The first was the incredible banana bread produced by the team effort of Silke, Suzie, and the other Alex.  The second was something that until today we've only read about happening to other boats. Much to our surprise and sadness we hit a whale. We felt the boat bump something and all rushed to investigate, only to see the pectoral fin of a whale flapping above the surface of the water behind us. Though we didn't hit it hard, most likely a grazing hit, we are all still praying that it will be okay.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 25 19S,  Lon. 05 21E. Barometer 1015 Mb. Similar conditions to us - 15 kts wind - 6.5 kts boat speed. Happy as a clam as he didn't have to touch a sail or sheet all day...

January 30, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 6
Time:   20:00 hrs
Wind: 25-30 kts SE
COG:   310 deg
SOG:   8.5-9.5 kts
ETA:   Feb. 2-3
Current:   0.5 knots with us
Barometric Pressure: 1016 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 182 NM
Position:   Longitude 004 deg 48.87E  Latitude 24 deg 23.95S

Conditions: Winds picking up a little to 20-25 kts true still from the SE. Seas 1-2 meters causing the boat to roll a bit more. Skies clear.

Highlights:  Another day of amazing passage sailing and just what we were told to expect along this route.  We have not touched our sails in 2 days!  Not surprising, since this is supposed to be some of the most perfect off shore sailing in the world. Add to that that the water is more blue and getting warmer and you have a happy crew! We even saw our first flying fish in quite a while.

We may be enjoying the sailing, but the same may not be said for the crew of a sailboat called Day Dream. As we passed a large freighter enroute from New York to Richards Bay, we were told of the missing yacht over the radio. It seems that the crew of three left Brazil at the beginning of December and were long overdue in Cape Town. Though we hope they are safe and well, their predicament is a good argument for SSB radios and daily schedules with other boats.

As for us, we make it a habit to be in contact with at least one other boat when offshore. At the moment we have a radio schedule twice a day everyday with no less than three other boats. Those three are Gypsy Spray, Jump Up, and Camissa and they are all within 120 miles of us. There is also Truant which just left Cape Town today. I am sure there are many more both ahead and behind us, but these are only the ones which we know about. It is just nice to know that there are others out there should something go wrong.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 23 36S, Lon. 03 11E. Barometer 1015 Mb. A little less wind than us - 15 knots SE - 6 knots boat speed. Still hasn't touched a sail or sheet since yesterday. As we were talking to him he was turning some baked potatoes into hash browns.

January 31, 1999, South Atlantic Passage, Day 7
Time:   21:40 hrs
Wind: 15-18 kts SE
COG:   312 deg
SOG:   6.5-7 kts
ETA:   Feb. 2-3
Current:   None
Barometric Pressure: 1015 Mb
Distance Sailed in Last 24 Hours: 175 NM
Position:   Longitude 002 deg 13.02E  Latitude 22 deg 32.20S

Conditions: Winds dropped off this afternoon to 12-15 knots true from the SE.  Presently 18 knots with seas 1-2 meters. A bit lumpy. Skies clear with a big bright full moon.

Highlights:  Well, we certainly had an interesting evening last night! At about 11:00, we were all startled by a loud bang, at which time we rushed up on deck only to find our #1 genoa laying in the water off the port side. After frantically hauling it back onto the boat, we found the culprit. The jib halyard had frayed through at the top of the mast and snapped, leaving only the sheets and the tack from letting it float away.  After assessing the situation, we opted to pole out the staysail and wait until morning to fix the problem.

Then around noon today, given the conditions were a bit lighter and calmer, we rigged the spare halyard and raised the #1 genoa again.  Though the problem is not completely fixed, we are confident that the jury rig is sufficient to get us to St. Helena where we hope to get it repaired permanently. We now have the jib poled to port again and are moving along quite nicely with the wing-on-wing setup.

Bob Greymont aboard Gypsy Spray:
Bob's position @ 18:00 Lat. 21 44S, Lon. 00 55E. Barometer 1015 Mb. Wind 10- 15 knots SE - 6 knots boat speed. A bit rolly. Bob spilled two cups of coffee, but otherwise OK.  He has been passing the time answering a list of questions (sent by his wife Sally) from some children that go to school in Massachusetts.  Currently 499 NM from St. Helena.

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