Lüderitz to St. Helena - Days 1 & 2

st. helena 1325 nautical miles
st. helena 1325 nautical miles

Day 1

Miles to go: 1325

We got a late start because of check-out, but we were still off the mooring by 1130. The wind had lessened but it was cold. As we cast off our mooring lines, we saw our friend Andy waving goodbye. Liz sent a bon voyage SMS and Evaldine wished us a good passage on the VHF. Before we left the calm waters behind Diaz Point, we raised the main and gave Neptune his tot of rum. We were making 7 knots when we passed the last cardinal marker. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was shining.

Once outside the protection of the Point, the waves increased and so did the wind. We were on a broad reach, double-reefed with a little headsail; apparent winds were 30-35  knots. Despite the Stugeron, it didn't take long to get seasick. I heaved till there was nothing left, then heaved some more just in case a remnant of that last brotchen had hidden somewhere. My throat was raw and sore. David sent up paper towels and spearmint  gum. What else can you do?

We were dressed in layers ... t-necks, sweatshirts, fleeces, scarves, gloves, sweat pants, hats, foul weather bibs and jackets ...and we were still cold. It was the biting cold that gnaws at you, burrowing into your bones and penetrating the marrow. We were cold from the inside out. The cold ended up being more oppressive than the seasickness. During the day, it was uncomfortable, but during the wee hours of night watch, it was downright painful. On off-watch, we could snuggle into a warm bunk, but below deck was no place to be unless we were sleeping. Our only redeeming thought as we shivered? We're heading north and it'll get warmer by the day.

to st. helena map
to st. helena map

Day 2 

Miles to go: 1206

I'm dressed like a Muslim woman in a burka...only my eyes are visible and exposed to the cold. The day has been grey, bleak and overcast. The wind has lessened and the seas have calmed. The big pot of passage soup I made has gone pretty much uneaten. It's tasty enough, but our stomachs aren't craving soup at all. The captain has been eating pre-passage prepared PB & J sandwiches with mint tea and munching on coffee cake.  As for me, a cup of lemon tea and a piece of coffee cake had my stomach in knots again. I plan to live off my fat for a day or two till I'm feeling better. Don't feel bad, this will do me good!

By evening, we've begun to feel a slight change in the temperature. The bite has gone. It's still cold, but it's a bit more tolerable...less wind chill. We took 2-hour watches last night because of the cold. Tonight we're reverting to our 3-hour sched, affording the crew a bit more rest. The night is coal black. It's still overcast...no moon, no stars. Even once my eyes become accustomed to the dark, I'm not able to discern the sky from the horizon. It's an eerie, discomfiting feeling.

It'll get better ... Check our Days 3 & 4 of this passage.