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3 July 2007, 230nm from the Seychelles
White-tailed Tropicbird at sea. By Amanda
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, the forecast was wrong again, but this time in our favor! Instead of rain and winds creeping forward on us, we've had a bright blue sky with puffy little trade-wind clouds. The ocean is a rich blue with little flecks of whitecaps and the only sign of rain was a beautiful rainbow this morning. The winds are 16‑20 knots from a bit aft of the beam, the seas have flattened considerably and life is good. Amanda even baked a delicious loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread for lunch, and we got visited by long-tailed Tropic Birds, which we haven't seen for some time.
Jon & Amanda taking yet ANOTHER reef
The only real problem is that we can't let Ocelot stretch her legs - if we did, we'd arrive in the dark, and Victoria is not a harbor to enter in the dark. But even making Ocelot slow down can be difficult. We've got 2 reefs tucked into the main and 2/3 of the jib rolled up, and we're still making a very comfortable 5 knots. At this rate we'll arrive at about noon on 5 July, which should be fine.
Even so, we'll be crossing the bank in the dark. The main group of the Seychelles sits on a big shallow bank that extends out for over 100 nautical miles in some directions. At the edge of the bank the bottom rises from several thousand meters to only 20m over a very short distance, creating sharp and sometimes breaking waves until the sea gets used to the shallow conditions. We plan to come to the bank at an angle, allowing the sea to adjust more gradually, and at a point some 60nm east of Victoria.
At noon today we were at 5°19'S 59°36'E or 250nm from Victoria. We're now heading WNW, having made our slight northward turn last night. Once we cross the bank we'll again turn more westerly for the final approach.
Fair winds and calm seas -- Jon, Sue and Amanda Hacking
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