A Three-Reef Kind of Day

3 Mar

March 1 , 2019/Day 148

Noon Position: 46 49S  134 51W

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

Wind(t/tws): NxW 20

Miles since departure: 20,349

Avg. Miles/Day: 138


Rhumb line course to Cape Horn, 2,574 nm. About the distance from San Francisco to Hawaii, a route I’ve run several times. Such a comparison makes the Horn seem close. But those “to Hawaii” miles and our “to the Horn” miles are very different: the Horn is still quite far off and the intervening weather and requisite southing, a big challenge.

But it’s March, MARCH! I remember distinctly doing the around-the-bottom math just after Mo’s first Cape Horn rounding. Then March seemed a likely second-approach month–but an impossibly remote future. Now it is the future. Makes me shiver to think it.

No mistakes now, please. No major gear failures. Don’t push too hard. Give up on your precious daily average figures. Just focus on getting around. Keep the boat fit for getting around. That’s all that counts.

It was a two reef kind of night, and it’s been a three reef kind of day. Winds have been edging into the north and increasing incrementally since about midnight, when I gave up, got up and got kitted up to put a second reef in the main.

We had stars early. I thought how pleasant it will be to do some star hunting in the cockpit over a beer. But ten minutes later, the stars were gone, erased by cloud cover I hadn’t even seem coming. That’s how fast things change down here.

Mo is close reaching into a minimal sea, but it doesn’t take much head sea to pound, and that’s been our lot today. With the boat on her ear and bucking freely, I’ve not got much done. A little sewing job on the clear hatch covers. A little reorganization of a cupboard. A lot of eating. Some reading. And long rests in between.

This wind will keep veering east, and soon Mo will be headed south. How much to let that happen is the question for the night. There are powerful (and welcome) westerlies on the way, but I don’t wish to tempt them overly by being too, too much in their path.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


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