Oct 98 Updates

October 1, 1998, Passage to Aldabra, Seychelles
Time: 18:00
Wind: 16-18 kts SE
COG: 237 deg
SOG: 7.5-8 kts
Distance to Waypoint:   50 miles
ETA: 12:30 tonight
Position: Longitude 054 deg 09.00 E Latitude 05 deg 26.21 S

Conditions: Good SE winds with a moderate 3-4 ft swell. Close-hauled @ 40-50 deg off the wind. Comfortable ride considering wind angle. Clear skies & half moon.

Today's Highlights: Left under a beautiful morning sun and headed out of Mahe into ideal conditions. A windward passage is not the best way to start out with new crew, but Mick and Sally are holding up very well; better even than Lucy who is a little cranky. Caught a beautiful sailfish this afternoon - will send a picture from Mayotte.

October 2, 1998, Passage to Aldabra, Seychelles
Time: 18:10
Wind: 18-21 kts SE
COG: 241 deg
SOG: 7.5-8 kts
Distance to Waypoint: 389 NM
Barometric Pressure: 1013 mb
ETA: Monday morning
Position: Longitude 052 deg 18.60 E Latitude 06 deg 18.24 S

Conditions: SE winds @ 20 kts. Seas 2-4 ft, but comfortable. Still hard on the wind @ 50-60 deg off. Mostly clear skies & big bright moon.

Today's Highlights: Woke up this morning anchored off a beautiful beach and even better lagoon. Decided to pull into Ille Desroches last night due to insufficient chart coverage for the Amirantes Island group. Did not want to navigate reefs in the dark. Nice stop! Minor problem before departure, seems the switch for the aft head went south. Almost a good enough excuse to spend the day there. The diving is supposed to be among the best in the Indian Ocean. Oh well! Good day of sailing. Finally settling in for a few more days of it.

October 3, 1998, Passage to Aldabra, Seychelles
Time: 18:10
Wind: 24-28 kts SE
COG: 241 deg
SOG: 8-9 kts
Distance to Waypoint: 178 NM
Barometric Pressure: 1013 mb
ETA: Sunday night
Position: Longitude 049 deg 49.01 E Latitude 07 deg 41.08 S

Conditions: Currently winds are out of the SE @ 24 to 28 knots with gusts up to 30 knots. Seas are 8-10 feet and building. Skies mostly clear and sunny.

Highlights: The winds picked up last night and maintained a speed of about 30 knots throughout the night. With gusts to 35 knots, the seas have gotten considerably larger making the ride a bit lumpy. With daybreak the winds let up a little and eased throughout the day. Weather faxes show a large high over us and indicate more of the same conditions. Bill recalculated our waypoint to the north side of Aldabra and saved 40 miles in doing so. We now expect to be in sometime tomorrow night. Dinner tonight spagetti bolognese with garlic bread.

October 7, 1998, Packing the bags in NYC for vacation
Note from Jeff, the OOB web design guy: Im off on vacation to do what else...sail! Ill be leaving on October 8th and will return October 22nd. My brother, his wife, four other friends, and I will be bareboat chartering out of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Between you and me, I really need the break.

The PinOak SSB system has been very spotty again, allowing the crew to send e-mails only sporadically. If any multinational telecommunications company directors are reading, wed love to talk with you about sponsoring our communications! Anyway, the latest e-mail update from October 4th is posted down below. The crew will still be sending me the updates and Ill post them all when I get back.

Biggest news: Bill has finally cut his hair! After vowing not to cut his locks until he got back, he succumbed to the dreaded (pun intended...) wind whipped marks across his forehead. Before and after photos to follow!

October 8, 1998, Aldabra to Mayotte, Comoros Islands
Time: 18:00
Wind: 14-16 kts
COG: 198 deg
SOG: 7.5-8.5 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1015 mb
ETA: Tomorrow @15:00
Position: Longitude 045 deg 53.45 E Latitude 10 deg 22.39 S

Conditions: Currently winds are out of the SE @ 14 to 16 knots. Seas are flattening out as we move into the lee of Madagascar. South equatorial current pulling us west. Skies mostly clear and sunny.

Highlights: Considering this was to be potentially the passage hardest on the wind, we are having a beautiful sail! The wind and seas picked up as soon as we left the lee of Aldabra. We were close hauled for part of the morning and afternoon until things started to subside. Lucky we have Madagascar to shield us from the swells coming up from the southern Indian Ocean.

Sorry to see such a beautiful place as Aldabra fade away, but we're all looking forward to Mayotte and beyond to South Africa. If conditions continue to moderate it will slow us down a bit, however no one can argue with a comfortable sail, not even Lucy! No fishing today, I think we have enough tuna!

October 17, 1998, Passage to Mozambique, Day One
Time: 18:45
Wind: 0 kts
COG: 166 deg
SOG: 6.5-7 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1018 mb
ETA: 7-8 Days
Position: Longitude 045 deg 16.01 E Latitude 13 deg 07.59 S

Conditions: Currently motoring with no wind at all! Seas are flat with hardly a ripple. Skies are clear and sunny. No current yet.

Highlights: Cleared customs with the Comandant de Port and pulled the hook at 13:45. Left the anchorage at Dzoudzi and made our way towards the southern entrance in the reef. Less than an hour out of the lagoon there's a loud thudding noise and the engine begins to strain. Bill immediately shuts down and curses as he looks off the transom of the boat. We have picked up what looks like a stray line floating in the water. It's 3 inches thick and it's fouled in our prop. 15 minutes later, Bill emerges from the water triumphant. Score...Bill 1, line 0. Now that we're free again, looks like we'll be motoring for a while.

October 18, 1998, Passage to Mozambique, Day Two
Time: 18:13
Wind: 4-6 kts SE
COG: 235 deg
SOG: 5 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1017 mb
ETA: This weekend
Position: Longitude 043 deg 20.24 E Latitude 14 deg 30.29 S

Conditions: Currently motoring with light and variable wind conditions. Seas calm and skies are clear. Still little to no current.

Highlights: Motored through the night with mainsail pulled to center. At 06:00 this morning a big, dark and ugly line of clouds moved in producing rain and 35 knot winds. Behind that we got 12-15 kts of wind on the beam and choppy seas. We were moving along nicely at 8.0 kts until the wind died late in the afternoon. Seas went flat again and with the exception of the drone of the motor, everyone slept very comfortably... with the hatches open!

October 19, 1998, Passage to Mozambique, Day Three
Time: 17:30
Wind: 4-6 kts SE
COG: 234 deg
SOG: 3 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1016 mb
ETA: Sometime this weekend
Position: Longitude 041 deg 41.05 E Latitude 15 deg 38.81 S

Conditions: Still motoring with light wind conditions. Seas calm and skies are clear. Current of up to 6.5 kts dragging us SE.

Highlights: Bill's log entry at 17:30 says it all, 5.5 kts of current bearing 153 deg! Boat steering 294 deg to hold course of 234 deg! SOG 4.0 kts - Speed Through Water 6.6 kts. Clear skies. Still almost no wind, only 6.0 kts true. Hoping current will continue moving south. Seas calm w/ 1-2 m long swells. We continue to keep the mainsail pulled to center and pray for wind. The motor is currently turning @ 2600 RPMs, producing 7.0 kts STW. SOG has been as low as 2.0 kts, but we continue to head for the Mozambique coast. The 2000 meter contour line is just 45 miles away. Once inside, the current should move South and follow the coast.

October 20, 1998, Passage to Mozambique, Day Four
Time: 18:30
Wind: 10-11 kts E
COG: 219 deg
SOG: 7-8.5 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1016 mb
ETA: 48 hours
Position: Longitude 039 deg 50.12 E Latitude 17 deg 08.93 S

Conditions: Still very light winds, now out of the east. Seas calm with long swells rolling through. Skies clear. Current bearing 180-200 deg moving @ 2.5 kts.

Highlights: With the exception of current now moving in our favor, conditions are much the same as yesterday. We are maintaining good SOG, but the constant sound of the engine is becoming agonizingly painful. We have gone about 400 miles in just over 3 days and at this rate will not make Richards Bay by the 26th. For those of you who know the significance of that date will also know why we are now stopping at Bazaruto Island on the Mozambique coast just 350 miles south of here. There are very few reasons why Bill would pull into a place without detailed charts....his birthday is one of them.

Top highlight of the day, an unidentified ship changed course and came 5 miles out of the way to check us out. It's hard not to think of pirates when you see a haggard looking Chinese fishing boat slow down a couple of hundred yards off to starboard. The good news is they waved and kept going.

October 21, 1998, Passage to Mozambique, Day Five
Time: 18:35
Wind: 18-20 kts NNE
COG: 224 deg
SOG: 7-8.5 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1014 mb
ETA: 24 hours
Position: Longitude 037 deg 35.78 E Latitude 19 deg 21.79 S

Conditions: Winds picking up and staying out of the NE. Seas to 1
meter. Skies clear. Current dropping.

Highlights: Early this morning we began to get some wind out of the north at about 12-13 kts true. Bill shut down the engine (finally!) and let the main out. Genoa would not stay full. Ran with that until the end of my watch @ 06:00 when the wind went dead behind us to the NE. Mick and I poled the jib out to starboard giving us a "wing on wing" configuration. We sailed with that nicely all
day until we heard that there is a low on it's way up from Durban bringing with it NW winds, known as a "buster". So just before dinner, Bill makes the decision to change headsails to our #1 genoa. The reason is to give us more speed and therefore move up our ETA to Bazaruto Island several hours earlier tomorrow. We definitely don' want to get caught in a buster.

To give you an idea of the frustration sometimes experienced out here, here is is an excerpt of Bill's log written at the end of his watch at 03:55 this morning. ....Shut off motor as wind picked up to 13 kts on the stbd qtr. Swung over boom, hooked up preventer, let out jib + sailed nicely for 10 min. Wind backed around, jib flogged, main flogged, Bill flogged + threw the flashlight in the water. Flashlight flogged. Main only now......

October 22, 1998, Passage to Mozambique, Day Six
Time: 12:28
Wind: 20-25 kts SSE
COG: 221 deg
SOG: 8.5-9.5 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1018 mb
ETA: 4 hours
Longitude 35 deg 57.23 E Latitude 21 deg 01.28 S

Conditions: Winds shifted SSE at 20-25 kts. Seas very rough at 5-6 meters. Skies gray and overcast.

Highlights: Once again the Mozambique Channel has thrown us another curve ball. Early this morning the wind shifted from NE to SSE following a squall. The conditions continued to deteriorate through out the morning and into the afternoon. Bill's log entry at 12:28 was near the height of the worst conditions we experienced. He wrote; Genoa reefed, main -> 1st reef-wind 20-25 kts SSE. Seas -> 6 meters, short, steep, tall waves. Boat handling well at 8.5-9.5 kts uphill. 50 deg off the nose. ETA 4 hrs -> Bazaruto

The boat was, in fact, very well balanced. However, it was still taking a pounding. Wind against current was producing these steep, short spaced waves. The result was that the boat did not have time to climb the front of each wave. Instead, it literally punched through them at 8-9 kts, sending "green" water careening down the deck. The waves that the boat was able to climb were so large and moving so quickly that they would literally leave the boat hanging in mid air. The boat then fell into the trough with such a crash it sounded like the hull was hitting cement. We fared well through the whole affair with no damage and are currently motoring toward our anchorage off of the Indigo Lodge on Bazaruto.

Lemur Note from Jeff, the OOB Web Designer:
Im back from vacation and here, as promised, are the updates from the yacht.  My two weeks sailing aboard a 51 bareboat charter have recharged the batteries.

The last update from Out of Bounds is from the 22nd of October. They were looking to spend the weekend on the island of Bazaruto to celebrate Bills birthday. After that, itll be on to Richards Bay, South Africa. Then the Indian Ocean passage will be complete. Next up: Around the Cape of Good Hope to Capetown.

Here is a shot we took in Mayotte of a Lemur! They were hanging out in the trees on the other side of the island. They would actually eat bananas out of our hands! Awesome. -Bill

October 28, 1998, Passage to South Africa, Day One
Time: 18:03
Wind: 13-15 kts ENE
COG: 178 deg
SOG: 9-10 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1014 mb
ETA: Friday
Position: Longitude 035 deg 47.32 E Latitude 23 deg 22.29 S

Conditions: Winds currently out of the ENE @ 13-15 kts. Seas calm with 3-4 ft swells. Bright, clear sky with half moon shining.

Highlights: Departed Indigo Bay @ 06:10 this morning and headed for the south channel. Needed 7 way points to navigate to the channel entrance. Just when it appeared we had a clear shot out, we narrowly missed hitting an unmarked sand bank. We continued to head for blue water only to be thwarted by yet another sand bank. Ahead of us, just about all we could see were waves breaking over shallow green water. The chart showed 10 or more meters but it was clearly less than 3 all around us. We tried again, feeling our way along, hoping for a break in the bank. Finally, we spotted an area and decide to go for it. With 2 meter breaking waves we punch through while watching our depth dip to 3.5 meters in the troughs (Out of Bounds needs at least 10 feet of water, or things come to a rather quick halt...). Way too close for comfort, but we made it through!

October 29, 1998, Passage to South Africa, Day Two
As I write this note, it is 04:30, October 30, and the wind has turned SSW with 15 kts on the nose in short choppy seas...fun stuff! This coast is brutal...and we haven't even reached the bad part yet. The worst part is I can't even get a berth in the main cabin. Im stuck bouncing around in the forward cabin as we crash into the waves. --Alex

Time: 18:00
Wind: 20-25 kts NE
COG: 239 deg
SOG: 8-9 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1011 mb
ETA: Friday Night
Position: Longitude 034 deg 25.40 E Latitude 25 deg 31.69 S

Conditions: Winds holding steady out of the NE @ 20-25 kts. Seas calming as we move into the lee of Mozambique. Currently 5-6 ft swells. Skies clearing after an overcast day.

Highlights: Well, we expected unusual weather and sea conditions from this area and we haven't been let down. We had a very uncomfortable night with little sleep due to the rolling action of the boat. The subsiding southerly swells combined with the increasing NE waves made for very confused seas. A course change early in the morning put the wind right on our tail and wing on wing as the sail plan. Poor propagation and/or station transmission had us guessing what the weather would do, but we soon found out. Through out East Africa and the Indian Ocean area there were nine lows being charted. None appear to be directly affecting us but the forecast is for the wind to move SW. In anticipation of this we have moved inland toward Maputo. This should shield us from strong winds and building swell should the conditions arise. We are just over 200 miles from Richards Bay and SHOULD arrive without incident. See you in SA!.

October 30, 1998, Passage to South Africa, Day Three
Time: 20:00
Wind: 16-18 kts NE
COG: 206 deg
SOG: 7-8 kts
Barometric Pressure: 1016 mb
ETA: Saturday AM
Position: Longitude 032 deg 49.29 E Latitude 27 deg 57.38 S

Conditions: Winds now coming from the SE @ 16-18 kts. Current strong @ 5.0 kts bearing 148 deg, however only 0.5 of a kt helping us. Seas calm and skies clear.

Highlights: As expected the wind moved to the SW over the course of the night. The change in direction brought brief periods of wind, allowing us to sail...briefly. It was the usual story, get up on deck, jump around for a while and trim a few sails, just to do it again as soon as the wind shifts. When the wind finally settled SW the seas picked up very rapidly, causing the boat to pound incessantly. Over the course of the morning the wind and seas dropped, making for a very comfortable ride. This afternoon saw the breeze move NE again where it is now.

As long as the wind and current hold we should arrive around 05:00 as the sun is rising. I think everyone is ready for a daylight landfall, not to mention a dock, shore power, water....

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