Night Maneuvers

27 Feb

February 25, 2019/Day 144

Noon Position: 46 36S 147 00W

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

Wind(t/tws): WNW 18

Miles since departure: 19,845

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Monte: (at the helm, yelling over the roar of wind in the rigging) Senior, what good is this, your forecast, if it will not foretell the weather?

Randall: (at the mast struggling to douse the main. It’s raining hard, too.) I dunno, Monte. Kinda busy at moment. Can you ease her into the wind a bit?

Monte: In my day, we look over the rail, and if the wind is blowing up a gale, we call it a gale. Like now. This one is good. See, clearly, it is a gale. But your forecast calls for little wind, and only when it blows big does it say, “Oh, yes, now you should expect a gale.” I say it is nothing more than Ocustpocust, your forecast. Did you say something?

Randall: I think you mean hocus-pocus…

Monte: I know what I mean, Senior. I too have read your history. Ocustpocust was the American Indian fortune teller who helped your Lewis and Clark to voyage across America many years ago.

Randall: I think that was Sacagawea. She…  I mean really, could you ease Mo into the wind a bit? It would help me unstick the main batten from that spreader.

Monte: No, Senior, Sacagawea was the mother of Pocahontas. She was from a much earlier period. What was that you want again?

Randall: Ease the damned helm a bit, man! Can’t you see what I’m about? And no, I am quite certain Sacagawea was the guide for the Lewis and Clark Expedition!

Monte: (Eases the helm.) OH, ah, well, “expedition” you say? I thought you meant the Lewis and Clark *Voyage.* If you will recall, that was something else entirely. So maybe you are right about Sacagawea. But then who was Ocustpocust?

Within an hour of my stating in yesterday’s report that I would leave the main up overnight, it was down and wrapped. Winds were 35 and 40, not the foretold 25 to 30. I sat up with the gale until 4am. I was uneasy given the wind strength, the deviation from prediction, and that we were slicing across what must be a growing sea, hidden by absolute dark. It was a loud, rough ride, but Mo plowed solidly forward.

Only with the coming light did winds ease, allowing me to grab a couple hours in my bunk. Not quite long enough for feet to come back to body temperature. After coffee, I pulled the 8pm (previous night) forecast. THAT called for the higher winds, but a good several hours after we were experiencing them.

I cannot complain overly. I rely on these forecasts, and they are more right than wrong. They gave me warning of the coming low and allowed me time to position Mo into a less difficult quadrant. Still, I wouldn’t mind if they had been right about the wind speed and duration.

Rain lasted until noon, but there was too much spray over the boat early to think of catching it. I only rigged the hose and bottle at 11am. Caught two gallons. That brings total capture to 34 gallons. Not enough. By calculation, there are only 22 gallons left in the foreward tank.

By early afternoon, wind had done an about face and was blowing 25 from the south. Confused seas. Confused skipper. Took an hour to tack Mo around, to move sheets and running backs; to roll up and then unroll the working jib.

But we are back to a good speed … and heading due east.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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