Out of Sorts

28 Jan

Day 76

Noon Position: 47 09S 15 40W

Course/Speed: E5

Wind: SW25

Sail: Storm Jib

Bar: 1012

Sea: W and SW, steep to 15

Sky: Clear

Cabin Temp: 55

Water Temp: 49

Miles last 24-hours: 165

Miles since departure: 10,014

Our “little low” (my words, now eaten for breakfast and lunch) came on to blow last night. The forecast called for winds to 30 that, at 1am, went 40 gusting 45. Or, more precisely, wind went 18 to 45–the typical southern ocean spread. I had to bring in the working jib, which felt as if it was going to make Mo airborne or burst; neither are allowed.

By morning the sea was the steepest I’ve seen with a train from the west and southwest crashing and mushrooming heavily. Wind had dropped to 25, but I left Mo on storm jib until noon thinking that going slowly in such a boulder garden a good idea. It is difficult to go slowly when we have so far to go, and I looked forward to the sail change.

There was some sun, so I set the solar panels and rigged the genoa poles for the west wind to 25 called for in the forecast.

After the noon log, I set about making sail changes, but suddenly winds went 35 gusting 40 from the southwest. The sky came in dark and a sea laid Mo over and knocked down both solar panels. While I was switching back to Monte’s “heavy wind” air blade, a wave pooped the cockpit entirely and put several gallons of water down the companionway hatch, which I had left lowered for some much needed fresh air in my otherwise unventilated living quarters.

Below boat motion was such that when you returned the coffee container the cupboard, it flew back at you along with the jar of curry paste and the peanut butter before you can shut the door.


By late afternoon, I’d had it and started yelling at inanimate objects that failed to follow my orders.

The frustration is due, at least partly, to lack of sleep. With this active weather cycle, I’ve been up more frequently than usual. And it’s been rough. Mo’s berths have lee cloths for protection against being thrown to the floor, but they don’t keep one from flopping around as the boat heaves and rolls. I use extra cushions and pillows to create full-body wedges, but the result is not always satisfactory. Nights have been broken up due to this and being on deck. And for some reason, naps of late aren’t producing any actual napping.

This “boiling over” is now something I watch for as a cue that I’m beginning to run tired.

Not that I have an immediate solution, except to note it and be extra careful.

On the bright side, we are making miles (165 yesterday) in the right direction and are now closer to the Cape of Good Hope than Cape Horn.

I’ve also discovered that my fingerless wool gloves do an excellent job of keeping hands warm even when sopping wet. The hand warms the wet wool which acts as an insulation against both wind and hand contact with cold metal rails, and such. I can now go indefinitely without needing to take a break for a hand warm-up.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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