Survey ship forces Dee Caffari to alter course in South Atlantic 7/4/06

Date6 April at 2209
PositionS 29° 9’/E 13° 26′

I sailed into some breeze this morning. It wasn’t from the forecast direction, but it was breeze and kept Aviva and I sailing in the right direction. It was another glorious day, with the sun shining and a clear sky. I sat on deck and watched sea birds hover and perform vertical dives to grab their lunch. I watch rips in the current form distinct lines in the ocean and felt the sun on my face, which although not yet warm was very pleasant indeed.

The daylight hours were pretty quiet but then as night fell and navigation lights were turned on it became a busier stretch of ocean. I was called on the VHF by a guard ship for a seismic survey that was ongoing ahead. He explained that the cables being towed were four miles in length and the vessel was going to perform a turn that would interfere with my course.

I cringed with the thought of having to tack when I was only just moving at three knots. We agreed a course that would keep me clear and I altered to port. Neptune must have been looking out for me for as I turned to port the little wind there was also backed. This allowed me top alter course without tacking. Then as we were passing the vessels in the survey, the wind lifted me some more and began to fill in. Now we had the right course and some decent boat speed again. Thank you Neptune!

I am sailing closer to the customary high pressure for the South Atlantic, which will eventually give me some running conditions to get me north. All good for sailing home.

Dee and Aviva