Mauritius has seen an immense amount of wind today. It has been blowing all day so hard and steady, as if a huge fan was just doing it’s thing, hour after hour. Marcel kindly drove me to the next town north so that I could buy some groceries and for a few moments we walked onto the beach and could hardly stand. The swells breaking on the reefs were visible even from over a 2miles away. I spent all day indoors wrapped in a blanket and monitoring weather, discussing options with Sarah and wondering why I hadn’t brought warmer clothes (!). Mauritius, of course, is not enjoying the summer like I just was in sunny Portugal.
I am not happy with Sarah arriving in the night. Neither is Sarah.
Do we stop with Bob in the water and wait? Do we go for it and risk arriving in the dark? How does one navigate through reefs with a boat that goes where the wind wants it to go? My day has been all about finding the right answer.
The wind has blown Sarah along so fast all day today that in any 12h period in the last 24h she covered around 35 miles. That’s pretty huge! She may actually pull a 70 miler in 24h before getting in. Conditions although tough are absolutely perfect. I am delighted at her present position and the success of her track. For close to a month Sarah and I worked out our own little plan as to how to NOT miss Mauritius. At one point I was a little worried as she was getting blown really far north. Equally it was essential to get her away from the west and south west winds and build her morale again. But it was only in the past 2 weeks that we really began to secure the arrival. My research and gut feeling suggested that Sarah should be approaching Mauritius from the southeast only. So this is what the wind fortunately allowed Sarah to do. If you look at the tracker she has steadily gone south west, even beyond the latitude of the island. At times it was tempting to just point directly at “the beach” as we called it, but I was unsure what this new strong wind would bring and we both agreed to continue south west until we were sure. And now it is with great relief and joy that we see a plan working out just perfectly. Had Sarah been anywhere else and she would not make it. She would just be blown north and completely miss her target. Her steady course these last few days is almost as consistent as that of a sailing boat. And the funny thing is, she has been inside resting most of today, building some power for what will be a really amazing day tomorrow. Theoretically she will start going faster as soon as she starts rowing again.
Final answer? She’s gonna go for it! No plan B.
At present average speed of 3 point something knots, we took only 3 knots and saw that with x miles to go she had 17hr to go. That means a 16h local time arrival, leaving us with 3h of day light since the sun sets at 17:54, leaving another hour of light. So we have a 3h safety net. And this young lady is going for it!
I will be monitoring her progress all night and keeping the website updated as things happen.
There will be a gap in information later on as I will be on a boat with Mauritius Coast Guard guiding Sarah in.
By tomorrow night we will have pictures and a full update on the site.
Thanks for all your support.