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Cape2Rio: Perie Banou skirting South Atlantic high

Cape 2 Rio 2013 logoJon Sanders’ West Australian Cape Town to Rio Race entry, Perie Banou II, is back up in first place in IRC Division 2.

They have some breeze and are skirting along nicely with 5 knots of boat speed and 1,281 miles to go to the finish in Rio.

Perie Banou II 19:01H GMT 20th January 2014 “Day 17 at sea…”
2,254 nm covered by 12:00H GMT
1,395 nm to Rio de Janeiro
Noon-noon: 123 nm
Average per day: 141 nm
Sails: main / jib / spinnaker
South Atlantic Ocean
Abyssal Plain
Water depth: 4,500 metres
Latitude: 20 deg 29 mins S
Longitude: 019 deg 13 mins W
Course 270 deg true
SOG 7.0 knots
VMG 7.0 knots
Wind: 14 knots from E (Trade)
Cloud cover: 4/8
Barometer: 1,016
Seas: Following, mild – moderate

PBII continues to skirt the South Atlantic High Pressure System and is currently in an area of moderate Trade winds. Cloud cover continues and continues to be variable… By noon bands of cirrus clouds entered the scene. A short time later “cotton-wool” cumulus clouds dominated with 6/8 cover.

It will be interesting to compare PBII’s final track to the actual positions of the South Atlantic High Pressure System when the crew does its post-race review of tactics. Right now we can use GRIB files but they are projections of winds etc. There is a degree of guesswork and some gambling going on…


The pantry contents is noticeably diminishing. It is going to be lean pickings all-around before long…

11:40H GMT
Just up from a rest in my bunk before going on watch. From my bunk I could tell, from the motion and sound of water along the hull and the sound of the sails and rigging, that we were tracking along pretty well…

Now at the chart table I can see that SOG is 7.5 and VMG is 7.4 knots. COG is momentarily 268 degrees true.

Looking out through the companionway I see cloud cover is currently 3/8 and for the first time there are cirrus clouds in the mix of cover. It is baking out in the cockpit!

Time to kit up for my watch. Long-sleeved shirt, shorts, deck shoes, gloves and large floppy hat to keep the sun at bay. EPIRP hung around my neck. Spinlock Deck Vest life jacket and harness clipped on… Some sunburn cream on the face. Sunglasses on… A slurp of water and I am off for duty at the helm – a two hour watch.

Hope there is not to much traffic. I have to be there in two minutes.

I will be relieving Lance who has been on watch since 10:00 H GMT. Gareth and Jon are in their bunks. This time if day is quiet on PBII.

14:05H GMT
Just completed my watch. Two hours of real Trade winds. Terrific. The 6/8 scattered cumulus cover by 12:20H GMT completed the scene.

Just after taking the helm I watched as Jon dragged himself from his bunk to the chart table – all in full view from the helm. It was time for his “noon-to-noon” navigational reckoning and entry into PBII’s log book. Every noon for the last 30 years, when in his yacht, he sits down to this ritual. From his seat on the port quarter birth a hand reaches out through the companionway with an old Garmin GPS Model 72. The GPS gets instinctively lobed into an open pocket on the deck. Whist it gathers the satellite information to provide a latitude and longitude “fix” Jon writes his log. Then he pops his head out through the companionway, looks around and announces, “6/8 cloud cover, looks like the Trades, easterly”, grabs the old GPS, and disappears below. This ritual occurred on-time throughout the gale that blew through the fleet in the first few days.

In time, the red Colin’s 3880 “Accountant Book” titled “Jon’s 9th Circumnavigation – Jan 2014″ will join the other 60 or-so such books he has stashed at his brother Colin Sanders place in Nedlands or archived in museums… A treasure trove of real information on sailboat travel, sailboat routes, the oceans and the weather of this planet.

Six of his log books are held at the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library, at Curtin University, Western Australia. A further three are held at the Battye Library, Western Australian State Government, Perth.

Jon is now at the helm. Kitted out in nothing more than a pair of three-quarter length pants (formerly of the full-length variety), a belt, harness and hat. Sunburn cream smeared across his face…

Lance is in his bunk, Sudoku in one hand, pencil in the other. He is puzzling over a “genius” level game.

Gareth is slumped at the chart table and plugged in… Watching James Bond – Skyfall.

Now for some lunch. The billy is on to make tea and coffee. Coffee for Jon, coffee for Lance (Milo, his preference, had an early exit from the pantry) and tea for Gareth and me… A can of “Lucky Star” South African sardines and some dried biscuits. Lunch is eaten on the landing at the bottom of the companionway. Only dinner is a “formal” event on PBII. At other times it is every man for himself…

16:20H GMT
Jon is preparing the evening meal. So far I have seen fresh potatoes and onions diced and tossed in a pot. Now for the canned fare.

“What is for dinner Jon?”

“Robin, shipboard curry and rice”.

“Ah, my favorite”.

The aroma is now permitting the boat…

16:30H GMT, Breaking news:
The first ship in a while; CPA 0.01 nm; TCPA 00h55m00s. We will have to change course! And get a camera to the ready…

Cargo vessel Jens Warrior; 948 ft long, 55.8 ft draft. Destination Singapore – AEBGB.

All in good spirits aboard PBII.

Ate ja…

By Robin Morritt, Perie Banou II

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