Nice and Sunny

Today has been nice and sunny. Not the normal sort of sunny day which is more like bright fog, it was real blue sky and the sun! It was a very nice change. My auto pilot is working pretty well. Now that I am able to leave the chart desk for more then ten minutes at a time, I've been doing some house work. Cleaning things up, trying to get my bed and boots to dry out, even doing some laundry.

I have to just ask that people please not send nasty emails to Coursemaster. They have recevied a few very rude emails and I just would like to make it clear that Coursemaster has been extremely helpful spending hours on the phone in the middle of the night and during holidays to help my support team and me troubleshoot. They have offered to help me get whatever spare parts I need once I am in Cape Town. It may not look like a good idea to use the same brand of autopilot but after all the electrical work and troubleshooting I have done with my current pilots I am very familiar (more familiar than I would like to be actually) with the whole system. I have had problems with the pilots but it is not clear the cause of all of the problems. My support team does not believe there is anything wrong with the design or the way they were built. Some things just break. Saltwater may have been the cause of a few of the problems.

Even though one of my Coursemaster autopilots is working well, sailing from South Africa to Cape Leeuwin across the Indian Ocean without a backup would be too risky, so I will stop in Capetown. I would have liked to stop in Sydney and congratulate Jessica but Capetown is a more sensible decision all things considered.

I am a little nervous about getting into port. As I get closer to land I have to be very careful of ships and other boats, and then once I am there I have shallow water, kelp and other such things to worry about. It is not nearly as stressful to be in the middle of the ocean!

But it won't be long till I am back out here. Offshore, I mostly use my AIS WatchMate to warn me about the ships. As I get close to shore, I use my radar a lot more and my Watch Commander makes me check things often. Ships and smaller traffic are a constant concern as I get closer to shore. They scare me a lot more than 40-50 knots of wind and 15-20 foot seas.

Abby