An Approaching Low

25 Feb

February 23, 2019/Day 142

Noon Position: 46 11S  154 47W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 7

Wind(t/tws): NW 19 – 24

Miles since departure: 19,522

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


I’ll admit I’m not fond of days like this. Mo is fast again, but on her ear and shoveling water as if it were free. One is fully kitted on deck or he begs to get dunked. The sky is a pasty, impenetrable gray; the water, slate, and filling the gap between these is but a dim, cold light.

We are running, not for the fun of it, not for the joy alone of speed, but rather to get ahead of a deep low slicing down from the north. Now and for many days the lows will deliver nothing but hard north wind. They are a chaos of oblong shapes, and their trajectories are always the bitter end of the world as quickly as possible, as if suddenly the Coriolis force has ceased.

How many gales have we ridden out? I’ve lost count. But I still get anxious in the run up to a blow. What will we find? How will I handle the challenge? What will happen?

After lunch, I pulled down David Lewis’s ICE BIRD and opened to a random page. “The notes for 7 November contain one entry,” writes Lewis at the outset of his attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica below 60S, “‘All that I need for this trip is courage–and that I possess only in very small measure.’”

Mo and I are approaching the exit gate for these waters, but I still feel that way. Risk and danger are close. Confidence is ever illusive. Fear is the companion.

I spent the day before a blow in the usual way. I cleaned. The galley, the head, the pilot house. It’s not as though I don’t clean except at the approach of strong weather, but I pay special attention then. One less thing to worry about.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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