Randall Reeves

A Pause Between Lows

29 Jan

January 27, 2019/Day 115

Noon Position: 42 56S  123 04E

We’d done 101 miles as of noon.

Ran slowly ExN on drogue all night, and morning found us up above 43S. So far north! So far back down to The Traps and The Snares at 48S.

I pulled the drogue in before noon. The line had wound itself into a knot overnight, and I wanted to unkink everything before tonight. The drogue has a swivel at its line attach point and I’ve added another at the bridle. We’ll see if this helps.

Hauling it in when wind is 25 knots ...

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A Black Night with Rain

28 Jan

January 26, 2019/Day 114

Noon Position: 43 26S  120 52E

I woke to find that Wattsy’s (the hydrogenerator’s) down haul had parted in the night. The unit dragged at the stern, luckily. I’m always afraid I’ll come on deck one morning to find it washed away.

We were still short 30 amp hours of charge, so I spent the time directly after coffee hanging over the stern. Fresh weather for such an exercise. I had to lie down in a puddle of deck wash. Right arm got dunked up to the elbow by a sea, but beyond that, I got ...

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Slowing Down and The Longue Route

27 Jan

January 25, 2019/Day 113

Noon Position: 44 54S 118 10E

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

Miles since departure: 15,804

Avg. Miles/Day: 140

I’m trying to slow us down a bit, and that’s the main reason for the lower mileage these last two days.

The issue is that if we are too fast and thus get too far east, we’ll be in the heart of the third low in this series when it drops in late Sunday. By that time, we’ll have had three days of strong wind, and the forecast continues to show that low as the big kahuna of the three. ...

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Big Weather and Enoch Delivers a Message

26 Jan

January 24, 2019/Day 112

Noon Position: 45 52S  115 10E

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

Miles since departure: 15,665

Avg. Miles/Day: 140

 

Flat gray sky and a nearly flat gray sea. The only excitement is a wind that refuses to settle, but rather meanders from just S of W to just W of S and blows at either 10 knots or 23.

Big weather is on the way. Three lows, one that arrives tonight and blends into another on Saturday that, with a small break, opens the way for the third on Sunday/Monday. It’s the second and especially the third of ...

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Half Way!

25 Jan

January 23, 2019/Day 111

Noon Position: 45 58S  111 52E

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

Miles since departure: 15 526

Avg. Miles/Day: 140

Today’s news is that by early evening, Mo and I will have crossed half the meridians between Cape Horn and an east-about course ending in Cape Horn again, this just as we begin to dip under western Australia.

Notice, above, total longitude made good of 179 degrees and 9 minutes as of noon; that leaves 51 minutes (roughly 35 miles at latitude 46S) to 180 degrees, or half the degrees in a circle. Which is what Mo and I ...

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Monte Gets a Pick-Me-Up

24 Jan

January 22, 2019/Day 110

Noon Position: 45 38S 108 29E

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

Miles since departure: 15,383

Avg. Miles/Day: 140

Wind went light overnight. I woke to sails slatting gently on a small sea. A full moon. Cloud seen only as an erasure of stars. The morning lumed flat gray; rain in the distance never approached. Wind had moved west after coffee. Mo unfolded her wings.

Today, as weather was finally subdued and the sea, quiet, I employed my Monte jury-rig and with success.

Mo is the perfect boat for what I am doing, but she does have her idiosyncrasies. ...

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Big Sky

22 Jan

January 20, 2019/Day 108

Noon Position: 45 44S  101 12E

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

Miles since departure: 15,077

Avg. Miles/Day: 140 (!)

It’s been a big sky day here on the ranch. Expanses of powder blue above and all the way to the cobalt blue water top we had, but rarely. More usual was a profusion of light, white cloud; leaning towers like one sees in the tropics but never down here, and squalls.

The squalls defined the day for Mo. When they moved through, they bent the wind and sped it up, and Mo would take off like she’d been ...

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Learnings from that Low

21 Jan

January 19, 2019/Day 107

Noon Position: 45 49S  97 23E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 7 – 8

Miles since departure: 14,916

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

 

A glorious night of sleep. Wind stayed W hour after hour despite a forecast calling for it to back into the N. Each time I came on deck prepared to haul down the poles, things were unchanged, and I returned to my warm bunk feeling the luckiest man in the world.

Equally glorious, a full day of sun. Not terribly warm sun, but bright and drying in any case. And again, the wind has stayed dead W....

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That One Bit Us Pretty Hard

20 Jan

January 18, 2019/Day 139

Noon Position: 45 43S  93 42E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS

Miles since departure: 14,762

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

Yesterday began at two-thirty in the morning, when the effects of the approaching low started to become apparent. The barometer had been dropping fast since 10pm, from 1010 to 1002mb in four hours, but now a gentle, 20-knot breeze went decidedly N of NW and quickly hardened to 25.

At midnight I’d taken down the poles and put up the main. Now I dropped the main instead of reefing it (no reason for half measures), lashed it to the boom, ...

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Chicken and Bread

18 Jan

January 16, 2019/Day 104

Noon Position: 45 54S  86 35E
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 7
Miles since departure: 14,463
Avg. Miles/Day: 139

We edged N all night, and to aid us, wind stayed S of W at 15 – 20; and in the day, it remained S of W at 15 – 20, so we have continued edging N.

The morning was not entirely clear, but I could see my shadow by 10am, and so I loaded the cockpit with wet things. Then the gray melted, and we had sun; bright, yellow, color-giving warm sun. I went barefoot on deck for the ...

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