The In-Between Time

7 Jan

January 4, 2019/Day 92

Noon Position: 46 18S  41 57E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5

Miles since departure: 12,600

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Ran all night on reefed twins in winds WxN 18 – 25. Slept nearly eight hours. Felt safe as houses such that I didn’t even set the alarm near my bunk in the early morning. Up for the last time at 6am only because there is *another* alarm in the pilot house used to remind me to make log entries. It goes off every two hours starting then and ending at 8pm. My equivalent of ship’s bells.

Basic chores today. A little work on Monte’s aft pinion bushing. Re-lash a turning block to the rail. A can of penetrating oil has rusted through and leaked its contents into the aft bilge; now cleaned. Clean the stove top. Hang foulies, a towel, three pairs of socks out to dry in the two hours of sun this afternoon; hurriedly pull them in when it starts to drizzle.

Time marches on. Our lovely westerly is tapering off and beginning to veer N, as per forecast, and we are entering that unsettled time between lows.

I have decided to go S of the Crozets, still some 320 miles further on. To go over the top would have turned them into a lee shore during the coming northerly. Now we are edging a bit N of their line so that when the wind hardens at about NNE tomorrow night, I can ease Mo a point and head for a waypoint just south of the islands. We should be well under them just as the next low reaches its westerly phase.

I feel uneasy here. As I type, seas are pitching every which way due to (my supposition) a contrary current caused by our passing over a rise on this plateau. Seas are small, sure, but they have a wild motion uncalled for by the wind. Water here is less than a thousand feet where the deeper average is more like ten-thousand. We will be in that deeper water as the next low arrives, and winds are forecast to be in the 30 – 35 range, but what will this current do to the sea-state then?

From Prince Edward Islands to well past Kerguelen feels like a danger zone, and I’m impatient to be past it.

Standing watch now. A squall. Drizzle. Winds are nearly ENE; still very light. The sails slap and bang as we roll. Almost time to down the twins and raise the main. But not quite yet…

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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