An Unexpected Blow

6 Feb

February 4, 2019/Day 123

Noon Position: 46 42S  148 16E

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

Miles since departure: 17,157

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

It’s the kind of day you cancel appointments for. You don’t take calls. You pay attention.

We rode the low’s northwesterly phase overnight; brisk winds to 25. I had the twins poled out with a couple tucks in each and Monte set to keep wind dead aft.

The westerly phase filled in before noon and brought with it waves of squalls to blot out the otherwise blue sky. Winds increased to 25 and 30 with 35 in the squalls common. I reefed in the twins and stood watch when the sky darkened once or twice an hour. Some squalls came with rain. I caught a little.

Late in the afternoon, the squalls faded, leaving puffy cumulus and a bright, cold sun. Wind began to back into the southwest; as I type, it’s a steady 30 – 35. The twins are still flying, though now they are tucked in as much as I dare. Seas have grown with the day and are heaping and plunging forward. In the setting sun, their crests are a translucent, pale jade. A few times Mo has been caught just right and has surfed, roaring forward and throwing an impressive wave of her own.

All unexpected. The forecast called for nothing more tha 20 – 25.

Today we dipped the burgee for Hobart, now to the west of us, upwind, and as inaccessible as Timbuktu.

The MOLI burgee pictured is actually the burgee of the Cruising Yacht Club of Tasmania and was the gift of Daryll Ridgeway, my guardian angel while I was in Hobart last year. The warm hats I wear constantly, the same.

The burgee went to Mo’s crosstrees just after she rounded New Zealand’s South Island on her way home last year, and it has not been lowered since. It has, thus, nearly circumnavigated, and though very much the worse for wear at this point, I don’t plan to take it down till it has done so.

Lucky for me, Daryll gave me two such burgees. So, Mo will not be without her emblem for some many miles to come.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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