Day 25 A Hard Day’s Work
All good things come to an end and so it is with the high pressure we have been enjoying these past few days. As the barometer drops the clouds come scurrying in and the landscape loses its sparkle.
A day off would have been welcome but the forecast of 15-20 knots north-easterly sounded good for sailing so we set off. Shortly after rejoining Canal Smyth, Faro Felix issued a weather forecast over the VHF. We thought he mentioned 25-30 knots with gusts of 40 for our area, a different picture to what we were expecting. We were aiming for an anchorage 15 miles further north, but if the weather got bad we had a fall back option within 5 miles. Fifteen minutes later Faro Fairway broadcast the same forecast as published last night. We were mystified.
We tacked and tacked and tacked again. Mount Joy on the west shore seemed to take for ever to pass. The wind was fickle, it would gust hard and then drop to nearly nothing but we were having a good time.
When we reached the entrance to Paso Shoal and Caleta Burgoyne, our fall back anchorage, we had a better angle to the wind and were making good progress, so we carried on. Tack, tack, tack. The problem with short tacking is that there isn’t time to boil a kettle between one shore and the other, so we swallowed a few crackers for lunch on the hoof.
As we approached the ’shoaly’ section of the pass, the wind increased until we were down to two reefs in the main and the genoa. The spray whipped up by the gusts slapped us across the face, making our cheeks sting. We decided ‘Fairway’ was more like ‘Away with the Fairies’ for his fantasy fiction weather.
A reminder to ships to go carefully through Paso Shoal
Past the last of the islands, only three miles to go, I could smell the coffee … Ahead, the sea was white with foam, whipped up by the strong williwaws racing out of Estero Clapperton. Our anchorage was somewhere in the middle of the gale.
Franco dropped the main, unfurled the genoa to the size of a small handkerchief and we turned tail and ran all the way back to Caleta Burgoyne.
We sailed a total of 29.3 miles of which 7.2 miles were retracing our steps. We have moved forward by 6.5 miles … A hard day’s work indeed. Day off tomorrow, that’s for sure.