Light Wind Sailing

16 May

Day 145/23

Noon Position: 33 38S 154 22W

Course/Speed: N3

Wind: SSW5

Bar: 1029, steady

Sea: S6, N4

Sky: Clear, cumulus on horizon

Cabin Temperature: 71

Water Temperature: 67

Sail: Spinnaker and Main, Broad Reach

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good: 105 (again)

Miles this leg: 2,853

Avg. Miles this leg: 124

Miles since departure: 20,097

I think it is light wind sailing that separates the men from the boys as much as the heavy stuff. It is certainly as much work.

We’ve been running toward the blessed north, at least, but not with anything like speed. The forecast got the wind direction spot on, but the velocity has not been the promised 10 knots until evening. Think more like 4 knots, 6 if you want to go all racy.

I raised the spinnaker mid morning and have been nursing it and experimenting all day. Tack goes here? No. Here? Pole up? No, pole down. Main in, main out? Does it matter? Is that better? But it’s tough to get a sense of what’s optimal when there’s not enough wind to tickle your fancy.

Add in the large old swell from the south and a newer but equally ancient swell from the north, and neither sail can get arms around our anemic breeze for more than a few seconds.

A can of beans for lunch and an orange for desert. Then back to tuning and tweaking.

When I look up, I realize…not a single bird all day! We must be getting close to the center of this high. No self respecting glider would come in here.

During the heat of the afternoon (74 degrees!) I hid in the shade of the pilot house and kept my watch from there.

And with sunset, we have wind. 10 knots; dead aft. I had planned to motor overnight, but let’s see how long this lasts…

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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