Randall Reeves

Islas Diego Ramirez

16 Mar

March 14, 2019/Day 161

Noon Position: 53 08S  91 47W

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

Wind(t/tws): NW 17 – 21

Miles since departure: 22,114

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Strong wind overnight as a cold northerly passed over us. It came on slowly, a steady thirty, then thirty-five topping out around midnight gusting forty. Mo let the building sea take her on the port quarter, a challenging angle for Monte, and so I ran a small headsail until morning. The blow came down to thirty-five some time after 1AM, when I started sleeping.

Winds are now aft and light, but setting the ...

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How to Lose Weight Fast without Exercise or Even Leaving Your House

14 Mar

March 12, 2019/Day 159

Noon Position: 51 17S  99 25W

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

Miles since departure: 21, 812

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


A slow night but a fast day. Wind has filled in from the NW, and I’m meeting it with both headsails. Even with reefs, they are big and billowy and we scoot along at seven knots.

Clear skies give way to fog which clears and then reforms. But sun or no sun, it’s cooling down quickly, more quickly than the above daily temperatures indicate. I’m back to insulated rubber boots and an extra layer of fleece. The cabin ...

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A Mistake

13 Mar

March 11, 2019/Day 158

Noon Position: 50 41S  102 16W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 4

Wind(t/tws): N 8 – 10

Miles since departure: 21,699

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


The night was clear, the north wind, cold, and stars twinkled with an icy intensity. But by daybreak we were enveloped in a thick, drippy fog that slowly smothered everything except the north swell on which Mo rolled luxuriously. By afternoon I dropped the sails, else they’d rip themselves to shreds.

Wind was due to come from the NW by evening, so I rigged both poles in anticipation. While lowering the port pole, the ...

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A Circumference, Of Sorts

12 Mar

March 10, 2019/Day 157

Noon Position: 50 01S  105 25

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

Wind(t/tws): NExN 23 – 27

Miles since departure: 21,572

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


All morning we close reached to the SE and into a hard northeasterly. Two reefs, then three. By noon a sea was building, and I was on the verge of putting up the small staysail when everything shifted.

Wind went from NE to NW in a matter of five minutes. During the transition, wind speeds nearly touched forty, and then backed down the seventeen. Within fifteen minutes, the windward sky, which had been low, ...

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It’s a Good Job I Like Sailing

10 Mar

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 ...

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Southern Lows are Tough Business

8 Mar

Noon Position: 47 19S  118 48W

Course: ESE 7; Wind: NW 21 – 34

Barometer: 997, falling

Sail: Working jib, heavily reefed.

Evening now. We’re in the heart of it, so just a quick note.

The barometer has been falling dramatically all day, from 1008mb at 2am to 995.5mb as I type. I’m hoping that’s the bottom, but I’ve been hoping that since 998mb.

Wind is *still* NW, which means that for hours now we’ve been stuck in the initial, NW phase of this low. I’m tired and wet through. A random sea struck Mo’s flank while I was in ...

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7 Mar

March 5, 2019/Day 152

Noon Position: 47 09S  122 36W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExN 6 – 7

Wind(t/tws): WxS 14

Miles since departure: 20,855

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Clear night. Not a cloud. Orion is setting in the west; Scorpio, full and bright in the east, is rising. I trace out all the star paths I know and then try to identify the outliers. Why can’t I find Miaplacidus, for example? Or Atria?

A solitary star deep in the south is, I think, Achernar, which we’ve not seen since coming down the Pacific three months ago; it will eventually lead to Diphda ...

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Flash Low

5 Mar

March 3, 2019/Day 150

Noon Position: 47 25S  129 33W

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

Wind(t/tws): WNW 25

Miles since departure: 20,572

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Mo rode out a flash low today. That’s not, that I’m aware of, a meteorological term, but rather is how I describe a low that appears to develop and dissipate quickly right on your position. This one dropped down on us from just to the north and brought northerlies in the high 20s.

I cancelled an interview with Matt Rutherford for this morning so I could deal with a day of dynamic happenings and felt bad ...

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You Can’t Get There from Here

4 Mar

March 2, 2019/Day 149

Noon Position: 42 29S  132 03W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExS 4

Wind(t/tws): ExN 11

Miles since departure: 20,470

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Wind veered into the east slowly but steadily overnight. By 6am, our heading was ESE and by noon, SExS, this though we were close hauled. Worse, on that course, we were bound for a rendezvous with 48S.

Getting “trapped” too far south is a danger-to-be-avoided that was carved into my skull after the Indian Ocean knockdown last year. There I’d let headwinds push us all the way to 50S before tacking around. This meant Mo ...

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