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Thread: Figure 8 Voyage 2.0

  1. #11
    He must be relived. Where to now?

  2. #12
    I think he stays south then re enters the Pacific then heads north to the Arctic.

  3. #13
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Back To The Future: Randall Recount

    We rejoin Randall Reeves As He Passes Cape Horn, Yes he did it earlier but the reports are delayed a bit,
    So here you go...

    November 30, 2018

    Day 57

    Noon Position: 54 36S 63 15W

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

    Wind(t/tws): SWxS 17 Ė 23

    Sea(t/ft): SW 8 Ė 10, very steep; wind-over-current seas. Nearly pooped.

    Sky: Alternating between squall and clear.

    10ths Cloud Cover: 9

    Bar(mb): 1008, rising

    Cabin Temp(f): 52

    Water Temp(f): 40, back down from yesterdayís 45

    Relative Humidity(%): 69

    Sail: Twins poled out.

    Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 174 (Favoring current.)

    Miles since departure: 7645

    Avg. Miles/Day: 134

    What can one say about Cape Horn, except that he is happy to have rounded it safely and in such fine weather. Apart from the chilling rain, I could not have asked for it half as good.

    Wind overnight and the morning of our approach was light, such that I though we might be so delayed as to not see the Horn during daylight. But by mid morning, we picked up a moderate westerly, into which I poled out the headsails, and I havenít touched them since. The wind has bent around the continent with us. Itís evening of the next day; Mo and I are headed NE, are nearly in the Atlanticís Scotia Sea, and are wearing the same set of sail.

    Such happenings change oneís perspective on luck. I tend to be of the same mind as Amundsen, that luck is manufactured, or, as he would say, ďAdventure (by which he meant bad luck) is just bad planning.Ē

    But I could not have manufactured the beautiful four days of Force 8; the strong westerlies that followed, nor the fine day we had at the Horn. I could not have put myself in the way of such blessed timing. That was nothing but chance in the raw.

    In fact, I might feel a tinge of remorse for our easy time if it werenít for the difficulties of last year and the mischievous pleasure of sliding in close to ogle the beast and then getting away clean.

    My god, not just to round the damned thing, satisfaction plenty, nor even to have it hove into view from afar, but to run up to within a mile such that I could see the great slabs of black rock, the olive green mosses on its flanks, the light house. To hear the waves crash after their run around the globe. To shudder at the thought of it hulking out of the mirk, lee and frothing, on a dirty night.

    All past now. In the night we ran fast toward Isla de los Estatos while I slept six hours and was only up twice. In the morning I could see the island in silhouette and still we ran. Mo made ten knots easy on a strong westerly current. Then, on the back side of the island, it reversed. For four hours we sloshed through eight and ten-foot wind-over-current seas at five knots. We were nearly pooped. I actually worried about pitchpoling.

    Now thatís past too. We press on into deep water, into easier latitudes, and towards our next gate.

    One can see the certain challenges of the south as gates that must be got through. Mo and I sailed over 7,000 miles to get to the first gate, the Horn. But there are two others before we approach the Horn again some four months from now. One is Ö well Ö the whole of the Indian Ocean. If I were guessing, Iíd say the toughest time be around the Crozets where the water shallows and the wind seems always to be super-sonic. Another is at the bottom of New Zealand where Mo and I must skinny below rocks called The Traps but above islands called The Snares. Then itís back to the Horn, again.

    Mo and I are fifty seven days at sea now, but really, this is where it starts.
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  4. #14
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    Postcards From The Edge

    Day 63

    Time: 1600 local (gmt-3)

    Position: 45 52S 44 18W

    Only time for a postcard tonight. Mo is working through the southerly arm of a low to the N. Forecast of 30 has built to a standing 35 to 45 with winds mostly over 40. SE is becoming slowly S wind and is creating a real witches brew of seas, which Mo handles with aplomb so far. But we donít have the full S wind yet.

    I carried the blow on the beam as log as was practical so as to keep a NE course. But for the last few hours, and since the wind has built, weíre running with it NW. No need to punch into this system further than necessary. That said, this feels like going backwards.

    What worries me is what comes next. A low to the south will reach up with W winds stronger than what we have now and well before this mess settles down. But that is a worry for tomorrow.

    All for now.

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  5. #15
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    January 7, 2019

    Day 95

    Noon Position: 46 58S 53 14E

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

    Wind(t/tws): WxN 17 – 26

    Sea(t/ft): NW 10 – 12

    Sky: Partly Sunny

    10ths Cloud Cover: 8

    Bar(mb): 993, rising

    Cabin Temp(f): 57

    Water Temp(f): 41

    Relative Humidity(%): 75

    Sail: Working jib, two reefs

    Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 161

    Miles since departure: 13,066

    Avg. Miles/Day: 138

    Days since Cape Horn: 38

    Miles since Cape Horn: 5,422

    Avg. Miles/Day: 143

    Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 55

    Longitude Miles Made Good (at Lat 47S): 161

    Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 120 31

    Two pleasant milestones today. One, we’ve achieved an average of 143 miles per day since rounding Cape Horn. This, to me, is a magic number as it means we’re cranking out 1000 miles a week. With wind and better management, Mo can do more, but that’s not at all bad.

    Two, we have now crossed 120 of the 360 meridians between our first Cape Horn rounding and our second. One third of the Southern Ocean loop is in the bag. It’s tempting to start doing the math on the miles and number of days it took to get here and to project that forward. But don’t. The Atlantic part of this leg saw lots of northing and southing and was, thus, very inefficient. Between here and the Pacific should be faster.

    I’d wanted to swing by the Crozets for a peek, but the wind wasn’t for it. We passed 33 miles under Possession Island at 6am. Now that we are E of the islands and are back in deep water, we are really in the slosh pit. The sea is even more steep and chaotic than yesterday and has the distinct resemblance to the kind of seas one gets in wind-over-tide situations. I’m betting the current here reverses or creates a large eddy behind the islands.

    Add to that today’s squalls where wind is either 19 or 39 from W or SW, and Mo is having a tough day. She’s getting thrown off some of the larger seas, rounding wildly one way or the other. I’ve had to slow down a bit to give Monte more control (the opposite of my general philosophy).

    Re the confused seas here, Michael Scipione commented thusly on the Figure 8 site a few days ago…

    “Randall-for over a year this issue over the area around the Crozets has piqued my interest and I have been tracking the ocean dynamics and following your second attempt. On the east coast we are very sensitive to the effect of the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream on waves and weather.

    “The answer may lie in the merging of two main Summer current streams. The tail end of Angulhas running ESE has warmer water than the West Wind Drift running E to ENE. The Angulhas produces a lot of eddies on its southern edge that confuse the seas with a predominant wave pattern from the SW. Add to that the falloff of ocean depths which probably magnifies the eddies further. The ocean temperature gradients on maps in the area around the Crozets are unusually tighter than elsewhere in the southern Indian Ocean and I have been noticing that the wave height is larger along a band on the Southern edge of the Angulhas there.”

    Amazing to think that Africa could have an effect all the way down here. Thanks for the research and the thoughts, Michael.

    We are trending ENE partly because I want a little northing and partly for the beneficial wind angle, and our heading takes us directly to the spot of last year’s knockdown, a mere 80 miles distant as I type.

    Though this is the strongest weather predicted here for a week, I’m eager to get well beyond the effect of the islands.
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  6. #16
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Slowing Down Mo

    January 25, 2019

    Day 113

    Noon Position: 44 54S 118 10E

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

    Wind(t/tws): WNW 25 Ė 30

    Sea(t/ft): W 10

    Sky: Low stratus (but the day has seen both rain and clear skies)

    10ths Cloud Cover: 10

    Bar(mb): 1004+, falling slowly

    Cabin Temp(f): 61

    Water Temp(f): 50

    Relative Humidity(%): 61

    Sail: Working jib, two reefs, broad reach on port

    Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 139

    Miles since departure: 15,804

    Avg. Miles/Day: 140

    Days since Cape Horn: 56

    Miles since Cape Horn: 8,170

    Avg. Miles/Day: 146

    Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 0

    Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 185 28

    Avg. Long./Day: 3.31

    Iím trying to slow us down a bit, and thatís 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, weíll be in the heart of the third low in this series when it drops in late Sunday. By that time, weíll have had three days of strong wind, and the forecast continues to show that low as the big kahuna of the three. So, Iíd like to play it extra-cautious and just graze its western edge. To do that, I canít let Mo charge off, as is her want.

    Winds have been building all day. As I type, 35 knots, rain. So, going slowly now is a challenge, even with a double and triple reefed working jib.

    So, Iím considering throwing out the Shark Drogue (for the first time) when weíve made our northing; the target is currently 44S, which we should pass by tomorrow noon.

    Buttoning up and battening down today. The main is lashed to the boom. The leeward jib sheet is moved over and run through blocks nearer the bow (this allows me to switch sheets as I reef small without going forward); Iíve cut the chafe from Monteís tiller line and the jib sheet; the poles are stowed; the lines wrapped so they donít bang the mast; bilges are pumped; floor-boards locked.

    Weíre almost ready.

    A friend shared a screen shot of the Longue Route Race Tracker last week ( This is the French (Moitessier) version of the English Golden Globe (Knox-Johnson) Race currently nearing its completion (well, completion for some). The tracker is interesting because it shows all the boats in the south this summer, not just those of its race. Mo is even there, and is the furthest south by far. Iím flabbergasted by the number of boats in this ocean this year.

    January 26, 2019

    Day 114

    Noon Position: 43 26S 120 52E

    Weíd done 146 miles as of noon.

    I woke to find that Wattsyís (the hydrogeneratorís) down haul had parted in the night. The unit dragged at the stern, luckily. Iím always afraid Iíll 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 away clean.

    By noon, the low friction ring that holds the down haul in place had come un-lashed from the unit. Again I found it dragging from the stern. By then wind was in the low 30s and I had other things to think about.

    Namely, speed. We were going too fast; even with a four-reef jib we were punching a hole in that low that would arrive on the marrow. I needed to slow down. By 2pm seas were steep and bullying, and weíd been knocked hard once by a gusher. A certain chaotic look to breakers. Nothing too serious, but I decided to deploy the Shark drogue, a slowing drogue, by design, before things got more difficult. Besides, I wanted to test it before the arrival of the big low.

    The Shark swam by 3pm. Immediately our speeds went from 7 and 8 knots and more when surfing to 4 and 5; 6 and 7 when surfing. The slow-down was comforting. The ride felt gentle. Moreover, there was perceptible stabilizing effect with drag astern. Seas that came crashing aboard didnít bowl us over. Nice surprise: Monte could steer at those slower speeds with the stabilizing effect of the drogue.

    Rode it all night. Downside: as winds subsided, Mo became abominably rolly. I could have helped things by flying more sail. Slept instead. Another: the line became twisted way up and into the bridle. I was concerned it would twist all the way TO Monte, but I checked it every hour, and that didnít happen.

    A black night with rain. I visited the deck several times to make adjustments to Monte. In the wee hours I saw eerie glowing tubes in the water. At first I thought they were resting birds, but I could see them glimmer in the inky darkness even past the range of the of running lights. None quite close enough to get a flash light down to them, except I could barely see this pointy, oblong object from about a foot to two feet in length. When there were many, they were separated by 20 Ė 30 feet and more on both sides of Mo. I presume squid but donít know.

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  7. #17
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    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.
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  8. #18
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    6 Months At Sea For Moli

    February 24, 2019

    Day 143

    Noon Position: 46 05S 150 50W

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

    Wind(t/tws): NW 24 Ė 28 (steady 30 within two hours)

    Sea(t/ft): NW 6

    Sky: Alto and cirro cumulus. A mackerel sky.

    10ths Cloud Cover: 6

    Bar(mb): 1011, falling slowly

    Cabin Temp(f): 68

    Water Temp(f): 57

    Relative Humidity(%): 77

    Sail: Triple reef in both main and working jib. Reaching.

    Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 165

    Miles since departure: 19,687

    Avg. Miles/Day: 138

    Days since Cape Horn: 86

    Miles since Cape Horn: 12,046

    Avg. Miles/Day: 140

    Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 3 57

    Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 277 42

    Avg. Long./Day: 3.23

    Weíre riding the edge. Typically by the time winds hit 30 knots, Iíve dropped even a triple reefed main. But I donít think 30 will last long, and I want to push us. The faster we go, the longer we stay in this wind and the further ahead of the NEXT low we get.

    But itís bloody uncomfortable. The sea is running bouldery, steep and smack on the beam. Mo is healed way over, and she heaves in a way that makes one defer anything but the most basic and necessary of tasks. Even reading is difficult; after ten minutes my head is a bowl of scrambled eggs. And with the decks awash, Iím essentially trapped inside unless making sail changes.

    On the plus side, weíre making good time. Two days now of over 150 miles; this should be the third. We need it. The next low and the next are right on our track and they look some serious business.

    Hard to believe itís nearly March, at the end of which I will have been at sea a full six months.

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  9. #19
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    In The Thick Of It

    Date: March 6, 2019

    Noon Position: 47 19S 118 48W

    Course: ESE 7

    Wind: NW 21 Ė 34

    Noon to Noon Miles: 155

    Barometer: 997, falling

    Sail: Working jib, heavily reefed.

    Evening now. Weíre 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. Iím hoping thatís the bottom, but Iíve been hoping that since 998mb.

    Wind is *still* NW, which means that for hours now weíve been stuck in the initial, NW phase of this low. Iím tired and wet through. A random sea struck Moís flank while I was in the cockpit chatting with Monte. A familiar sound. KATHWHACK! I duck but the wrong way, and great gallons of water slosh over my head and down my foulies. My last pair of dry fleeceĖno longer dry. One less thing to worry about.

    Iíve been working the deck most of the day but canít yet relax. The issue is Monte, or rather, the wind, which is cycling between 19 and 39. Monte feeds on apparent wind and speed through the water, and having both change so substantially within a 15 minute period is more than heís designed to handle. I set his tiller lines one way, and we gybe loudly in the slower wind; another way and we race off, rounding up into the sea when wind increases. More sail, less sail; more tiller, less tillerĖIíve yet not found the balance.

    The highly variable wind speed within lows is the most challenging environmental feature down here.

    Itís starting to clear. Orion is now half above cloud. The wind howls. Back on deck.
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  10. #20
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    The Last Good Beer Is Gone

    How to Lose Weight Fast without Exercise or Even Leaving Your House
    Posted on March 14, 2019 by Randall Comment
    March 12, 2019

    Day 159

    Noon Position: 51 17S 99 25W

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

    Wind(t/tws): NWxN 10 Ė 20

    Sea(t/ft): NW 4

    Sky: Altocumulus and Stratus

    10ths Cloud Cover: 10

    Bar(mb): 1011+

    Cabin Temp(f): 57

    Water Temp(f): 46

    Relative Humidity(%): 75

    Sail: Working jib poled to port, Big genoa free to starboard; two reefs each.

    Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 113

    Miles since departure: 21, 812

    Avg. Miles/Day: 137

    Days since Cape Horn: 102

    Miles since Cape Horn: 14,171

    Avg. Miles/Day: 139

    Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 2 51

    Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 330 08

    Avg. Long./Day: 3.24

    Miles to Cape Horn: 1090

    A slow night but a fast day. Wind has filled in from the NW, and Iím 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, itís cooling down quickly, more quickly than the above daily temperatures indicate. Iím back to insulated rubber boots and an extra layer of fleece. The cabin was 50 degrees when I woke. If this descent to the Horn is like the last, it will be below 45 in the mornings soon.


    We departed San Francisco with 186 cans of brew aboard, and they took up so much space and contributed so much to overall weight, I just couldnít fathom putting on one more can, though I knew they wouldnít last the voyage.

    It was the right decision, but I rather regret it now.

    This event has led, today, to reflections upon my overall consumption of provisions in the first 159 days of the Figure 8 2.0 and how much lighter Mo must be now than on departure day.

    The back-of-the-envelope math looks something like this.

    A monumental event yesterday. My one-beer-per-night ritual was dramatically altered when I consumed the last beer.

    Well, not quite. I still have a flat of light, lemony stuff I dislike, which is being saved for our climb into the tropics.

    But the last good beer has gone the way of all Ö malts.

    Food Stuffs Consumed

    -Canned goods: 3 cans per day at approximately 1lb per = 477lbs of canned goods consumed.

    -Dry Grains: 22lbs of Muesli, 9lbs of pasta; 6lbs of Quinoa; 4lbs of Polenta = 41lbs.

    -Crackers, cakes, flour for bread baking, etc. = 15 lbs.

    -Clif Bars: 238 consumed (1.5 per day) at 2.4oz per = 35lbs.

    -Coffee: 15 12oz bags = 11lbs.

    -Dry Milk: 5 3lb cans = 15lbs.


    Liquids Consumed

    -100 gallons of water. (Weíve consumed approximately 159 gallons but caught about 50, so the net is around 100.) At 8.34lbs per gallon, water weight consumed = 834lbs.

    -159 cans of beer. At 16oz per can, thatís 20 gallons of beer. Using above weight-of-water figure yields 166lbs.

    -10 bottles of wine. A 750ml bottle is a fifth of a gallon; so two gallons of wine consumed = 17lbs.


    Fuel Burned

    -1.5 20lb tanks of propane = 30lbs.

    -90 gallons of diesel. At 7.5lbs per gallon = 675lbs.


    How much lighter is Mo today than when she departed San Francisco five and a half months ago?

    A ton!

    Well, 2,316lbs, to be exact.

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