Front Coming

29 Dec

Front Coming

December 27, 2018/Day 84

Noon Position: 44 32S  13 19E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExS 6

Miles since departure: 11,385

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

Light winds and slow going these last two days, but that should change tonight. As I type, there’s a large front approaching from the W. Right now we’re racing under poled out twins; winds are W in the teens. Tonight they’ll shift to the N and bump up to thirty. I intend to ride these winds at an angle and slowly drop down a couple degrees of latitude so as to avoid more calms up here later in ...

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Thoughts on Rain Catchment and The Brownie Batch

28 Dec

December 26, 2018/Day 83

Noon Position: 44 18S  10 20W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SxE 3

Wind(t/tws): ENE 7


Miles since departure: 11,256

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

I kept the twins up overnight even though the wind went into the N in the wee hours. Switching from poles to main and jib in the dark is easy to rationalize as better done in the morning when one is full of hot mutton stew, fresh brownies, and a bit of red wine.

Besides decidedly cold and rainy, the day has been one of constant attention to the sheets as we work down through the ...

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This Time Last Year

27 Dec

December 25, 2018

Day 82

Noon Position: 43 24S  07 34E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 6

Wind(t/tws): SWxW 14 – 17

Sea(t/ft): W 6

Sky: Light Cumulus alternating to clear

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 1006, steady

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 48

Relative Humidity(%): 65 (51 by end of day. Can feel the dryness in my hands.)

Sail: Twins poled out full. Dead run.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 164

Miles since departure: 11,125

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

Ran all night with two reefs in the poled-out twin headsails. Winds were mostly 17 – 25, but a few times we had squalls ...

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Merry Christmas Dinner (Video)

26 Dec

December 24, 2018/Day 81

Noon Position: 43 50S  03 51E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6-7

Miles since departure: 10,961

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

Slow overnight in moderate winds as we wait for the sea to subside. It did, and I’ve flown the twins today. Now we race on light west winds.

Today a longish video discussing Christmas dinner and why we won’t be doing any gift exchange this year on Mo.


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Across the Prime Meridian

25 Dec

December 23, 2018

Day 80

Noon Position: 43 21S  00 42E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 6+

Wind(t/tws): WNW 20 – 27

Sea(t/ft): NW W SW to 12

Sky: Thin stratus

10ths Cloud Cover: 4

Bar(mb): 1002, steady

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 50

Relative Humidity(%): 75

Sail: Double reefed working jib

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 153

Miles since departure: 10,821

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

At 0800GMT this morning, Mo and I crossed the Prime Meridian and in an instant passed from West to East. Marked on charts as zero degrees longitude, the Prime Meridian is a semi great circle that runs from ...

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The Definition of Unsettled Weather

24 Dec

December 22, 2018

Day 79

Noon Position: 43 05S 02 45W

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

Wind(t/tws): WxN 25 (40 in squalls)

Sea(t/ft): W 10 – 12

Sky: Clear, then squalls

10ths Cloud Cover: 8

Bar(mb): 1000

Cabin Temp(f): 61

Water Temp(f): 50

Relative Humidity(%): 69

Sail: Working jib full or reefs, depending on squalls

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 151

Miles since departure: 10,668

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

Winds were 35 gusting 45 by 3am. I’d gotten enough sleep early and didn’t mind being up, and dawn was on the make, so I could see. By 6am, winds had backed ...

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Back-to-Back Lows, The Second, and The Loss of a Friend

23 Dec

December 21, 2018

Day 78

Noon Position: 43 12S 06 11W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 6

Wind(t/tws): NWxN 24 – 28

Sea(t/ft): N and NW to 10

Sky: Clear. Not a cloud. By 5:30pm, rain.

10ths Cloud Cover: 0

Bar(mb): 998, falling

Cabin Temp(f): 63

Water Temp(f): 52

Relative Humidity(%): 74

Sail: Double reefed headsail

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 147

Miles since departure: 10,517

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

I may have been hasty in calling these two lows back-to-back. The first cleared out overnight, and we had what I call “lovely sleeping weather,” that being moderate winds consistent in speed and ...

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Give the Cruising Dream! Last minute, no-shipping gift ideas

23 Dec

Need a little something at the last minute? Here are a few ideas to help inspire the hopeful cruiser in your life… or, put a smile on that cruiser across the anchorage from you! My favorite elves above, three years ago, on our mad road trip across South Africa to catch up with family in Yzerfontein.

Gift certificate

Give the Gift of Cruising: our mentoring service, for standard durations (monthly increments) or our holiday special: a one-time session (up to an hour and a half) for $50. Several versions of gift certificates are available to personalize! Contact me for ...

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Back-to-Back Lows; Here’s the First…

22 Dec

December 20, 2018

Day 77

Noon Position: 43 58S  09 13W

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

Wind(t/tws): WxS 25 – 30

Sea(t/ft): NW and W to 15

Sky: Rain

10ths Cloud Cover: 10

Bar(mb): 995+, rising

Cabin Temp(f): 55

Water Temp(f): 50

Relative Humidity(%): 79

Sail: Working headsail, 3 reefs. Broad reach to a run.

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 168

Miles since departure: 10,370

Avg. Miles/Day: 135

This low was kind. I expected the wind to come on overnight but it remained steady and fresh in the middle twenties, and I was able to grab good sleep, although in one hour ...

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The Equation of Time, old time navigation know-how in the modern world

21 Dec

If you ever messed with celestial navigation, you probably understand why even a perfectly installed sundial can be off by more than 15 minutes at some times of the year. But let’s recap on this shortest and darkest of days — in the Northern Hemisphere, that is — and I’ll also discuss how my old celestial nav skills recently helped with some very modern technology.

While it seems logical that the sun will pass due south of a fixed spot on earth at the exact same time every day, it does not. The calculated differences between Mean Solar Time (our ...

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