Randall Reeves

Becalmed, Video

26 Apr

April 25, 2019/Day 202

Noon Position: 0 14S  30 22W

Wind(t/tws): N 3 – 4

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 39

Miles since departure: 27,401

Avg. Miles/Day: 136

Becalmed overnight. And, as I type it’s two hours after dark and sails are down again. Wind showed promise during the day, but that was all it showed. We’ve made good fourteen miles in the last eight hours. You are likely looking at the tracker and wondering–and yes, my forecast also shows a lovely wind from NNE at 10 – 15 in this sector. Sorry folks, that wind does not exist here. ...

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In the Doldrums, Continued…

25 Apr

April 24, 2019/Day 201

Noon Position: 0 19S  30 04W

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

Miles since departure: 27,362

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


Wind remained light at north and east most of the night but died away altogether by early morning. I lowered the main, rolled up the jib, and we drifted for several hours under a starry sky.

The Big Dipper is hull up now and creates a lovely arc from Alioth and Alkaid in its handle through to Arcturus and on to Spica and Corvus. At Corvus the line veers sharply to the right and terminates in the Southern Cross. ...

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In the Doldrums

24 Apr

April 23, 2019/Day 200

Noon Position: 1 09S  29 20W

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

Miles since departure: 27,300

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


By my estimation, we entered the doldrums this afternoon. The marker was pretty clear, our soft but steady easterly softened by half and turned northeast. Sundown. For several hours our average speed: 2.5 knots.

Squalls overnight. I was on deck almost every hour easing sheets or hauling in again. Rain. Giant lines of cloud backlit by a moon so bright it almost hurt the eyes.

Now the dominant bird is the Booby. I say dominant not like in ...

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Night Visitors

22 Apr

April 21, 2019/Day 198

Noon Position:  05 20S  27 02W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): WNW

Miles since departure: 27,015

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


A strange night. Altostratus covered the sky by sundown and stayed there. Its layering was thin, allowing the full moon to shine through with here and there a star, but beneath this, dark squall clouds built. A light, hot wind threatened to do nothing more than die away altogether.

I lay splayed and sleepless in the cabin, still 89 degrees at midnight. By dawn the squall clouds were getting serious, and I began preparing for a dirty day. But ...

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Roaring Forties B-Roll, VIDEO

20 Apr

April 19, 2019/Day 196

Noon Position: 09 28S  25 24W

Miles since departure: 26,747/Avg. Miles/Day: 136

It took me a while to figure it out. Why I was perspiring so heavily in the cabin while doing nothing at all. But it’s the wind, of course, which is now generally aft of the beam at 10 or so knots. Consequently, the breeze below is much reduced. And man, it’s hot.

Today’s video is a miracle. Actually, that you are seeing it is a miracle. For three days, the app I use to edit and compile video has failed to export ...

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Hansen’s Ex-Meridian Tables

19 Apr

April 18, 2019/Day 195

Noon Position: 11 33S  24 42W

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

Miles since departure: 26,615

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


Not sure if wind fell lighter overnight, causing us to slow down, or if we were slowed by taking the wind aft of the beam. In any case, we were slower. Winds are steady but quite light; rarely over 10 knots.

I should be flying the big genoa, but we are back to wind just forward of the beam this afternoon, and that sail is a bear on a reach. At least that’s my excuse. I’ve not changed sail ...

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A Night Visitor and Your Comments

17 Apr

April 16, 2019/Day 193

Noon Position: 15 59S  23 17W

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

Miles since departure: 26,335

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


Good sailing last two days. Even wind. Mo is consistent in head and speed. Have barely touched the tiller or sheets yesterday or today.

Woke to a visitor in the scuppers, a rather large flying fish that, in the night, had not managed to escaped the Monster Mo.

Interesting to examine the fish. Their bodies are shaped like inverted triangles with big eyes pointing down to see what must be their main foe, the Dorado, as it charges up ...

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Thoughts on the Approaching Doldrums

16 Apr

April 15, 2019/Day 192

Noon Position: 18 29S  22 50W

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

Miles since departure: 26,191

Avg. Miles/Day: 136


Wind has stayed blessedly consistent the last 24 hours and the sky clear. On a 12 – 15 knot northeasterly we’ve made good time.

As I type, it’s approximately 1,000 miles to the line (the equator). Now the question of how we handle the approaching doldrums comes to the fore.

Conventional wisdom has it that a sailing vessel should stay to the west of that belt of calms, and a daily examination of weather at the ITCZ these last ...

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A Radio Call

10 Apr

April 8, 2019/Day 185

Noon Position: 30 35S  23 41W

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

Miles since departure: 25,405

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


A fast night. Somehow I found Monte’s sweet spot, and with two reefs in everything, I didn’t have to touch sail or tiller line all night. And our course, 30 degrees on the button. Excellent. Rough, but excellent.

Today has also been fast. We’re averaging 7 knots at moment, but the wind is beginning to ease. I think morning will initiate the next chapter of this northing saga: Getting Through the South Atlantic High. At moment there are nearly ...

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An Extended Complaint

9 Apr

April 7, 2019/Day 184

Noon Position: 32 25S  25 46W

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

Miles since departure: 25,255

Avg. Miles/Day: 137


A godforsaken bit of water, this.

Same ritual overnight; wind accelerates; I kit up and reef. By the time I’m back in the cockpit, another reef is needed. That’s at 11PM. At 3AM I wake to find we’re doing 4 knots and headed east. Wind has dropped way off. Let out reefs. Rain. Let out more reefs at dawn. All reefs back in by noon.

A thick, light-blocking sky today such that I made the first two log ...

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