Night Work and a Nearly Lazy Day

12 Jan

January 10, 2019

Noon Position: 45 49S  64 19E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 7+

Miles since departure: 13,534

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Wind shifts brought me to the deck twice last night. The 1am visit found Mo heading due N on a fresh southwesterly and required a full switcharoo from one tack to the other. This means rolling up the headsail (so as to get it around the inner forestay) and moving running backs and vangs from one side to the other. In the rain and 25-knot winds. It took a while. At 3am, wind had built such that I had to douse the main altogether. Then I lashed it tightly to the boom. More rain.

So, I set as a goal to take today on the slow bell. And I was well on my way to accomplishing this–I had a nap soon after breakfast and then indulged in cookies and tea–until Monte’s tiller line parted.

Mo rounded up and hung there as I was reading in the pilot house, a tricky business in the short, steep seas that resulted from a morning of 30-knot winds. A peer over the side showed the line had parted about a foot up inside the Monitor frame. That’s not happened this trip, and I can’t imagine how it would as there’s not a thing up there to chafe on. I did an end for end on the line and re-rove it. We were sailing again within 20 minutes.

This is one of the things I like most about Monte: I can usually fix what breaks. Gear that gets used as much as a wind vane is going to need maintenance, and Monte is simple and robust enough that his issues are within my meager powers. Not so an autopilot. If it fails, I’ll likely trouble shoot it for a week to no avail.

Blue skies and a sparkling sea today, but I saw none of it. We close reached all day with a tiny jib, hanging onto our easting as best we could against a stern, unforgiving SSW wind. Mo threw water everywhere and even threw me a few times. So, I tried to stay below and stay put.

Wind is back down to 25 as I type, and I’ve been able to put a bit more S in our course. We need to get below 46S before a calm rides over us and stalls our progress for a day.

Cold on deck. I typically work the deck with bare hands, which were beet red when I came below after raising the main just now. I have fingerless gloves at the ready; these are warm even when wet, but the wool in the palm makes my grip on railings and line feel slippery and unsecure. I use them only rarely.

Birds are back. Those are white chinned petrels in the photo at the top of this post.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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