March 8, 2019/Day 155
Noon Position: 48 21S 112 05W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ESE 6
Wind(t/tws): WSW 25 – 30
Miles since departure: 21,292
Avg. Miles/Day: 137
It’s a good job I like sailing, because that’s all this is over the last few days. Haul a line, crank a winch, reef and unreef; grab a can of something from the cupboard and get back on deck.
Overnight winds veered from NW to NNE and built to 25. By 3am I was putting second reefs in anything I could find. The barometer had dropped again, from 1001 to 996. Heavy rain.
At 5am it was dropping still, now 995. As I crawled back into my warm sleeping bag, I was reminded of the sailor’s proverb, “With a low and falling glass, soundly sleeps the careless ass.” But I just wanted one more hour.
I put a third reef in the main before coffee and also rigged for rain catch. Five more gallons in the tank by 10am. That brings total catch to 47 gallons. Soon, it should be enough.
The day has been similar. From NW all the way to SWxW and back. Winds to 30. Also to 15. Clear skies, then squalls, then cotton ball cumulus. A lovely day, if it weren’t for the unrelenting change.
At one point I took a photo from the bow, all dark cloud; then I turned and took a photo from the stern, all blue sky and soft cumulus. That about sums it up.
What appears to be happening is that we’re in the middle of a massive low pressure system. Not the eye, as such, but an area of constant low pressure and a mix of winds. As strong winds circle around us but many miles away, here winds are converging and rising and causing all kinds of mayhem in the troposphere.
It’s also noticeably colder.
This was all due to dissolve this afternoon and give me a fine breeze from WxN, dead astern. No such luck. Still lots of south.
I’m on edge. The approach to Cape Horn will be long, at least twelve more days of this. And the further south we get, the risker it gets. Weather will intensify. There will be no north to run to. And all of Chile will soon be lee. Small comfort: no other way around but down.
This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage