Fast Winds, Big Sea

20 Feb

February 187, 2019/Day 136

Noon Position: 47 16S  173 45W

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

Miles since departure: 18,734

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

 

Brisk winds with squalls continue. Nights have been kind; wind and seas have been steady, allowing good sleep. But the days are a wild card of open sky followed by squalls, then open sky again. The open sky episodes blow hard. The squalls blow hard, but wind is quite variable. Thus, I’ve had to reef the twin headsails way in for the sake of energy conservation. It’s either that or sit on deck with a winch handle in my hand all day.

It feels good to be on the move again. Already we are 800 miles east of The Snares. Cape Horn is less than 4,000 miles on a rhumb line course to Diego Ramirez. We could do that in a month with fast wind.

Sadly, even below 47S we are not immune to calms, which will overtake us by tomorrow.

My biggest concern at moment is a hurricane coming down from Vanuatu by way of Australia’s east coast. The forecast suggests it will impact New Zealand in a week, jump it entirely, and then move into the South Pacific. At that point, it won’t be a hurricane any longer, but it will still be a storm I’d like to avoid. I’m pushing to be well east of it. Winds over the next six days are not entirely favorable for that strategy.

On that note, have you noticed the water temperature? Today both air and water were 60 degrees at noon. That seems incredibly warm for down here.

Sail repair has taken the better part of the last three days but is nearly done. One last row is all that’s required.

I had hoped for a neat job, but it’s turned into a bit of a Frankenstein with stitches going every which way. Sewing is just not something I do often enough to have an approach.

Broke two heavy awl needles (of three) and drilled one clean through my left middle finger.

But I think the result is strong. Time will tell. Maybe relaunch the sail this week. I’m eager to put it back in play.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage

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