Lat: 12 18.340′ S
Lon: 52 43.530′ E

We aren’t exactly screaming along with half a jib, but we’re managing to average about 100 nm daily, and everything is holding together. That speed has us sighting land in two days! Unfortunately, we’re probably going to sail right by the land we sight.

DSC_0727 Even partially furled, the workhorse keeps moving us along

The spare part hasn’t been ordered yet, but with the repair holding together, it’s looking more like we’ll head for Mayotte if the piracy situation doesn’t look too bad. We were really looking forward to seeing the Nosy Be area of Madagascar, but with the cyclone season officially starting tomorrow, we need to keep moving. Mayotte, a French possession in the northern part of the Mozambique channel, is only two extra days of sailing and looks like a much, much better place to ship parts. We can take on good quality, duty-free diesel, fill our water tanks, find western groceries (though they’ll be expensive), and best of all, have the part shipped in without taking weeks to clear customs and having to endure the risk of “complications and delays”.

The weather has been beautiful since we had the rigging failure, which has been a real blessing. The sunny skies, moderate winds, and relatively light seas have made the slower pace easier to deal with and given us less cause to worry about the jury-rigged repair.

Listening to Bob on Boomerang describe conditions nearing Richards Bay, South Africa, has been a sobering reminder of how treacherous the area can be. A few days ago he was at sea in the Mozambique channel current for a SW “buster” that blew about 25 knots against the current and created steep, close, 16-18-foot seas. A couple days later a small coastal low turned intense and he was hammered with 40 knots of sustained wind and seas that towered over the boat, all the while trying to dodge shipping traffic coming in and out of the busy port. His response on the morning net as to how things were going was simple: “Not good.” We’re hoping our plan to hug the Mozambique coast will give us the chance to be at anchor during those types of blows, but it’s certainly no place to sail with rigging problems, so we’ll be waiting at the north end of the Mozambique Channel until we can get and install a new part.