Randall Reeves

More Night Dramas

30 Mar

March 28, 2019/Day 175

Noon Position: 46 13S  47 04W

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

Miles since departure: 23,947

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Night dramas continue.

I had been in my bunk an hour when Mo began to pound. Winds were the better part of 30 knots on the beam and the sea had been bouldery all day, so I knew we had rounded up. But why? I got up and suited up.

In the pilot house, the chart plotter showed Mo doing a handy seven knots (good) but due north (not good). Once in the cockpit, I saw that Monte’s tiller ...

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A Klatch of Albatross

25 Mar

A Klatch of Albatross

March 23, 2019/Day 170

Noon Position: 53 30S  61 04W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): NNE 4.5/Wind(t/tws): E 10

Miles since departure: 23,242

Avg. Miles/Day: 137

What a strange turn of days. To come from the windiest place in the world to a place where the breeze’s only commitment is to a light contrariness! I feel like Scott and his polar party, trapped under an inversion layer that never lets them go.

Mo is close hauled in winds 6 – 10 on the nose and is averaging, at best, 4 knots. Even with the big sails up, there is just ...

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24 Mar

March 22, 2019/Day 169

Noon Position: 54 41S  62 23W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 1

Wind(t/tws): SWxS 5

Miles since departure: 23,168

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


The wind has abandoned the field these last two days. For a time yesterday when it wafted almost due west, I ran with all plain sail flying, main and #1 genoa out to port, #2 jib poled to starboard. On this plan we made what felt like a handy three and four knots. Today, wind is so light, all those same sails do is thrash. I put them out of their misery at noon and we ...

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Under The Cape

23 Mar

March 20, 2019/Day 167

Noon Position: 56 03S  67 58W

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

Miles since departure: 22,959

Avg. Miles/Day: 138


Hour after hour we run in towards the shallows below Tierra del Fuego and hour after hour the barometer remains fixed at 1008mb and wind at 30 knots. I know this is how the low will come on: isobars will trend east/west until the slanting wave of more powerful winds arrive. But those more powerful winds have been due for some time.

I train the flashlight on the barometer: it reads 1008. Count to three hundred. Click the light ...

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Decision Made

22 Mar

March 19, 2019/Day 166

Noon Position: 56 11S  72 34W

Miles since departure: 22,805

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


We rode the twins for almost twenty-four hours in fast following winds and on which Mo has turned in her best mileage in a couple weeks. I’m pleased that it appears the approach to the Horn will go out with a bang, not a whimper.

The low is close now; winds are intensifying and pulling north. Just after the noon post, the anemometer struck 30 knots at almost NW. So, down came the poles, and we race onward under the working jib ...

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Mo is Around Cape Horn for the Second Time

20 Mar

Mo has completed her circumnavigation in the Roaring 40s, including two consecutive roundings of Cape Horn. The circuit took 110 days and covered over 15,000 miles.

As you saw if you followed on the tracker, I came in north of Diego Ramirez in strong wind, this after writing a blog post describing why that is a bad idea. I was right. More on that later.

It’s late evening. The sun just set behind Cape Horn. And now we sail into the next chapter of the Figure 8 Voyage.

PS. Two roundings of Cape Horn in one voyage. Has that been ...

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One Reason Today’s Mileage was so Poor

20 Mar

March 18, 2019/Day 165

Noon Position: 55 39S  77 18W

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

Miles since departure: 22,643

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


A cold rain on the dodger pitter patting as I typed last night’s report. Wind in the teens from the south. Mo reaching at a respectable pace with her working jib and main. Then the boat laid over as if an elephant had landed gently on the masthead. The anemometer read 35 knots. No run up. No fitful gusting to serve as warning. One minute teens; then whoosh.

The forecast had been wrong for days now, so much so ...

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Wind from Everywhere

19 Mar

March 17, 2019/Day 164

Noon Position: 55 32S  80 36W

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

Wind(t/tws): SE 18 – 20

Miles since departure: 22,530

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Strange days continue.

On deck this morning, you could have been in two worlds. Look straight up and your vista is blue sky with splashes of warm sun. Look to any horizon, and you see a wall, gray and impenetrable. This, I imagine, is what those who believer in a flat earth think surrounds the nether regions of the world.

The barometer stopped its descent at 990mb, this at 5AM, but still the ...

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Into a Kingdom of Cloud

18 Mar

March 16, 2019/Day 163

Noon Position: 54 50S  83 53W

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

Miles since departure: 22,411

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

I’m on edge. The day is eerie. Things are about to happen…

We have a good wind from NNW between 17 and 27 knots, which Mo takes just aft of the beam and on which we make a steady seven knots. It has held all day, this wind. But it is not meant to be, and everything points to change.

The barometer is falling steadily: 1000mb at 6AM; 996mb by noon; 993 by 6PM. The sky has been ...

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