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11 Jan

January 9, 2019/Day 97

Noon Position: 45 59S  60 30E

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

Miles since departure: 13,374

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Slow night and too much northing. I left reefs in expecting wind to veer into the NW and strengthen after midnight. It did neither, and Mo worked up above 46S, which we didn’t need. Winds have come on fresh from the NW this afternoon, and so we’re slowly drifting back S a bit.

I could have risen and made sail changes but chose to sleep. Each time I rose to examine our course, it seemed the detour was minimal and easily corrected in daylight. This is a frequent strategy. I figure that on such a long haul, adding a few more miles for the privilege of being rested is a fair trade. My limit is usually plus or minus 30 degrees off intended course.

Assume I’m asleep for 8 hours and that during that time Mo is making 6 knots or 48 miles for the night. If my course is off by a flat 30 degrees all night (very rare), I will have sailed 6.43 miles more than necessary to get to the same longitude. I’ve cost myself an extra hour of sailing for a good night of sleep. I approve. (The math: 30COSx48-48.)

The day has been dominated by fog, thin enough vertically to allow in the sun, but thick enough horizontally to be thought of as heavy. Mo’s made a steady 7 knots since noon.

Yesterday at 7:30pm local (gmt+4), Mo crossed the antipodes and was for a brief moment on the exact opposite side of the world from home. This was longitude 58E. San Francisco is 122W. If I were simply doing an around the world, I’d be on the return run now, the downhill slide. Think on it–13,374 miles (today’s total) would be half instead of a third of our total anticipated Figure 8 distance, and I’d be back at the house by April.

Not the plan.

Bird counts have dropped off markedly since we left the Crozets behind. White chins sat on the water in small groups in the fog and scolded each other with their loud chit-chit-chit. But that was the extent of our entertainment until the repeated swoops of a light mantled albatross this afternoon.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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