• Tossed About Like A Cork

    February 8, 2019

    Day 127

    Noon Position: 47 45S 159 53E

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

    Wind(t/tws): NNE 30 Ė 40

    Sea(t/ft): NE 14+ (steep and breaking)

    Sky: Stratus with rain and drizzle

    10ths Cloud Cover: 10

    Bar(mb): 1000+, still falling (998+ at sundown; still falling)

    Cabin Temp(f): 63

    Water Temp(f): 53

    Relative Humidity(%): 81

    Sail: #2 rolled to fourth reef position, close reaching on port

    Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 130

    Miles since departure: 17,644

    Avg. Miles/Day: 139

    Days since Cape Horn: 70

    Miles since Cape Horn: 10,005

    Avg. Miles/Day: 143

    Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 06

    Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 227 22

    Avg. Long./Day: 3.25

    Frustration beyond measure. The forecast called for winds in the middle thirties with this blow. Actual: overnight, 30 Ė 35, gusting 40; this morning, a solid 40 Ė 45; till mid afternoon, 30 Ė 40. Gobs of rain I canít catch because the sea we take on the beam is frothing with salt spray; southing we donít need and canít avoid even though we claw to keep our track; speeds of 6 and 7 knots we canít use because in three degrees of longitude we must stop and wait for a big blow ahead of us to pass by.

    And our reward for fighting through this mess? Calms on the other side of South Island. Calms as far out as the forecast cares to predict.

    I sat up with the low all night. Winds built slowly but continuously until, at 3am, I had but a nub of a headsail flying. I couldnít see what was coming at us, but we could all feel it because Mo was thrown around terribly. Seas climbed aboard, laid themselves over the pilot house windows. When Mo fell off a wave, the landing was like cannon fire. Twice I checked the bilges for leaks; surely the hull cannot take this strain! Heavy rain. And a disheartening course slouching to the south.

    Nothing loose below stayed put. The lid on my pot of beef curry ended up in the head, this though it was on the gimbaled stove (luckily the curry didnít fly). A bookshelf on windward popped its keeper rail and the books launched into my bunk on leeward.

    And all night the barometer fell and fell. And into the day. Even now, as the leaden sky begins to fade and we slog through heaping seas in a light and diminishing wind, even now it is down at 999 and continues to fall.

    I have up a main with two reefs and a full #2. We crawl along at 5 knots. But I donít dare carry more sail in such uncertain conditions.

    Then, while I type this rant, the sky thins. Above there is blue; and to the west, a vivid sunset.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Figure 8 Voyage 2.0 started by Photoboy View original post