We made 139 miles for the 24 hours. We are now sailing with the headsail poled out in 10-17 knots from the south. Half a knot of south-setting current is slowing us down.
Position 27° 03.284′ N 34° 14.425′ E
Log 11,266 nm
Engine 395.7 h
For once, the actual wind has turned out to be consistent with the GRIB forecast model. The wind dropped steadily overnight and by midnight it was pretty much calm and the sea state had abated to nothing more than a barely perceptible undulation. We also have a very weak north setting current helping us along, so around 23:00 last night we reduced power to 1,850 RPM to preserve fuel. Expecting to get a little push from the southerlies this afternoon and for the current to get a little stronger as we enter the Suez Gulf. Fairly positive we will be within easy striking distance of Port Suez tomorrow evening.
Position 26° 46.642′ N 34° 18.331′ E
Log 11,247 nm
Engine 395.2 h
Ariel 1 left Sha’ab Marsa Alam at 08:30 UTC+2 (local time) this morning, and we followed two hours later. The wind was still around 12 to 15 knots from the north at that time and the sea quite lumpy. We hoisted the main with 3 reefs in and motored into it. Middle of the day it started dropping and from 2:30pm to about 4:30pm we were able to sail close-hauled while slowly closing the coast at Port Ghalib. Since then we have been motoring and now the wind is about 6 knots from the north. There is still a swell of about 1m, but it is regular and well spaced, so conditions are quite pleasant. We are motoring with full main up. Ariel 1 is about 10 miles north of us. Looks like it is going to be a pleasant night’s motoring and so far the wind is exactly as per the ECMWF forecast.
Position 25° 36.674′ N 34° 41.620′ E
Log 11,166 nm
Engine 382.9 h
With a favourable forecast, we are going to try and make Port Suez by Tuesday night.
Position 25° 04.266′ N 34° 56.218′ E
Log 11,127 nm
Engine 375.9 h