15 Gusting 38

1 Feb

Day 79

Noon Position: 47 34S  06 23W

Course/Speed: E7

Wind: SW25+

Sail: Working jib, full; wind on starboard quarter

Bar: 1005

Sea: SW8

Sky: Fog, then high cloud

Cabin Temp: 53

Water Temp: 40 (note much colder)

Miles last 24-hours: 142

LMG: 123

Miles since departure: 10,428


The Southern Ocean is working me today.

The forecast called for wind to do a 360 overnight as the center of a low rolled over us, and given there was little advantage in tacking through it, I planned to let Mo ride all the way around. But at 2am wind did a 180 and never completed the circle. I had to tack around anyway, an eerie and disorienting exercise in pitch dark and fog.

When we had daylight, I rigged the twins and anticipated canting them so that the southwest wind would drive us east. Success…for a few hours, but wind soon built to over 30, at which point I couldn’t reef the inner sail enough and still catch the winds. So, down came the poles. We rode the afternoon on the working jib free, wind on the starboard quarter.

In the late afternoon, wind came on from the west. I poled out the twins but again wind built as the sky darkened and as I type we have 15 – 33 gusting 38. The twins are deeply furled, and all would be well except for the short but steep swell that keeps knocking the stern around. Poor Monte has his hands full as we teeter on that sharp edge between balance and wipe out.

Noticeably colder. The cabin says 48 degrees, but on deck, where I have spent most of my day, it feels arctic. Recently I said that my fingerless wool gloves allowed me to work on deck “indefinitely.” I would like to amend that to “definitely longer” than bare hands but not indefinite.” I’ve had four cups of coffee today and two of cocoa and am looking forward to boiled soup tonight.

The To-Do list got a chunk of fresh inventory this morning. The aft bilge pump has lost suction. Don’t know why as it’s new. The key that holds the pintle of the Watt and Sea in place is missing, though it was lashed to the rail with a keeper line. When I lifted Wattsy this morning, he came clean out of his bracket. And the furling line on the big genoa needs a few more wraps. This is disappointing as I’d thought I’d thrown too many on the spool to begin with, but the much stronger winds of late have shown that to be an error.


This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


  1. Capt. Peter Watkins

    Hi There………………following your epic figure eight with interest here in Notre Dame Bay, N/E coast of NL and of course dreaming of warm summer temps. We enjoy your writing, Log and videos, antisipating next update…….. Be safe , hope it warms up soon…….Peter/ Fleet capt./Liasion/ Cruising Club Notre Dame Bay, NL

  2. Jack M Lewis

    I forgot to add I am at my desk in Anchorage, Alaska and sail when I can in Resurrection Bay out of Seward, Alaska.

  3. Jack M Lewis

    Wow!!! I feel like joining him as my morning drama from my restaurant operations have me wanting to sail away. Love the video.

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