Becalmed

17 Dec

December 15, 2018

Day 72

Noon Position: 43 21S 26 30W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Wind(t/tws): NNW 12

Sea(t/ft): NW 2; SW 4

Sky: Overcast. Dull gray. Hard to remember anything different

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 1023, falling

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 54

Relative Humidity(%): 71

Sail: working jib and main full, reaching

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 66

Miles since departure: 9605

Avg. Miles/Day: 133

Becalmed soon after midnight. The sails could not hold their catch but spilled it and then rattled in disgust. I brought them in, switched on the anchor light and slept. Mo rolled heavily in the usual mix of southern swell, but my bunk in the salon is well below the waterline, and with a knee propped against a bulkhead for security, I barely registered the motion.

Wind again in the morning, but conveniently it waited until after breakfast. Light from the NNW. On it we’ve made respectable easting all day.

Another low will pass over us starting tonight, and as an experiment, I’ve removed the solar panels from the aft rails. One issue Mo has in heavy weather on the quarter is that she can slide slantwise down a sea and round up, even with just a small headsail flying. Monte always corrects this, but it can take him 10 – 15-seconds, and there will be a time when we don’t have that before the next roaring graybeard. By reducing windage aft, I’m hoping the correction can be quicker. All the panels are doing back there is catching wind anyway. We’ve not had sun since the Falklands.

In the late afternoon, wind went 20-knots and more, and as the sky began to look squally, I dropped the main in preparation for the night’s blow. Better to get it down and done before dark. I was rewarded for this bit of prudence by wind going to 12-knots, on which we now make a sluggish five.

Wind should fill in from the N by midnight and, with luck, we should have good winds for a week.

One Southern Ocean pleasure not found in middle latitudes is the constant avian companionship. Prions will spend hours fighter-jetting around the boat in flocks of twenty and thirty. Pairs of white chinned petrels will often join for a time. And from the outside, Wanderers swoop in for a long, slow inspection. But it’s the Prions that are the base-note these days, like chicks following Mo, the Mother hen.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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