The Routine

21 Dec

December 19, 2018

Day 76

Noon Position: 43 58S 13 17W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 8

Wind(t/tws): SWxW 25 – 33

Sea(t/ft): W 8, SW and NW smaller but apparent

Sky: Clear. YES, clear.

10ths Cloud Cover: 0

Bar(mb): 994, rising (we’re in between systems)

Cabin Temp(f): 57

Water Temp(f): 48

Relative Humidity(%): 69. By mid afternoon, 57%. My hands are dry; lips chapped.

Sail: Working jib with two reefs. Were between a run and a broad reach.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 131

Miles since departure: 10,202

Avg. Miles/Day: 134

Quiet overnight. We made slow way to the NE in drizzle. By dawn, wind had come into the N and I raised the main. Three hours later, it backed into the W, and I opened the large genoa on its pole. For a time we ran with a hodgepodge of sail, the working genoa and a single reefed main set for reaching, and the large genoa out on a pole for a run. Awkward but fast.

Then quite suddenly, the deck of cloud evaporated and wind went 30 knots WSW. I had to scramble to get sail in before we were lifted into the air.

It’s been two reefs in the working headsail ever since.

Crystal clear and dry. So dry my skin itches. I can’t recall such dryness–57% relative humidity. Just last night it was 80%.

In such weather, the crash of waves is blindingly white. The sea is Navy blue to black. The chocolate brown petrels are not drab but a rich blend of mocha and 70% bittersweet.

The first low is due at midnight. Winds will strengthen and go W, clock to the NNW and back to W by mid morning. That’s a lot of movement in a short time. Currently seas are mostly W, and so my tentative goal is to maintain a mostly westerly course till morning, to the degree the wind allows.

The routine:

-Dowse the main; lash it tightly to the boom to reduce windage.

-Move the windward (unused) working genoa sheet to leeward and set it up in a block well forward for a close reefed sail. This allows switching between sheets during the blow without having to leave the cockpit.

-Ensure working jib sheets are free of chafe where they contact the genoa pole. If chafe, renew.

-Lock the floorboards over the engine and close the diesel tank vents (if the engine has been run).

-Lay out drogue chafe gear (two large hoses lashed into their chock at the stern quarters).

-Ensure drogues are accessible (they tend to fall down into their locker).

-Close the sink valves.

-Close the head valve.

-Stow loose items.

-Ensure stock of freshly charged AA batteries (for headlamps).

-Move laptop to a locker up and out of the pilot house.

-Lay out dish towels at usual drip points.

-Pump all bilges.

-Check for chafe in Monte’s tiller line. If found, renew.

-Install the heavy weather wind vane in Monte.

-Try to take an afternoon nap.

-Make an especially large dinner.

-If planning to be up all night, put on an extra heavy fleece layer under foulies and change to dry (well, drier) socks.

See you in the morning…

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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