Farewell to Falklands

Lars Alfredson
Tue 6 Dec 2011 14:47
Pos 54:07.9S 63:54.12W Noon

06122011 Farewell to Falklands

The wind had picked up at 0400 and although moderated was still blowing 25kts as we weighed anchor at to begin our journey South. The crew of Mina2 were on deck to wave us off and offer Thomas (Who'd run out) cigarettes for the onwards passage.

Having been three days without and his sense of humour returning, he declined their gracious offer and we bid each other goodbye and hope to meet up again in Ushaia.

After some serious "De-Kelping" of the anchor we slipped out into the fog. As left the shelter of the harbour for the open sea we pick up a gentle half metre swell running our way a slid off at eight knots to a very comfortable ride.

As we declared happy hour at 6pm a squall hit us and the wind increased. With a half rolled number 2 Jib and a Reef in the main we were zipping along at nine plus knots Sails attended to and heeled over at 20degrees it was somewhat challenging both to drinking and chef-ing, though undeterred Thomas rose to the occasion with a spicy curried chicken dinner.

The night passage was relatively smooth and though the wind had been somewhat erratic earlier in the day, once clear of the Islands, it settled, gradually becoming more Northerly and on our beam for change. With luck our weather window should see us down to Isla del los Estados ahead of the 40knot Northerly predicted but able to catch enough to push us into the Beagle Channel before it turns West and on our nose.

During the night the wind died and the motor had to be fired up though by three o'clock it had picked up enough for us to be making eight plus knots.

0435 the Sun is up in a clear blue sky, were surfing at 9.5 knots in a metre sea with 18 knots of wind and were making good progress with the first Albatross and a couple of Cape Petrels for company.

By eight o'clock the wind starts rising again and by ten it was time to put in another reef as it's blowing forty plus. Although we're also doing an exhilarating sixteen knots surfing down one and half metres seas the 30 degree angle of heel is untenable and the poor old auto-pilot is having a hard time keeping us on course.

Fully reefed and with a half number 2 Jib we're still doing ten knots but it's a lot more comfortable at a lower angle of tilt! The Heads sink has become subdued after pretending its fountain and spurting forth at every roll of the hull and the demonic rattle in the cupboards as everything rolls back and forth until hitting a door or bulkhead has silenced. We go back to reading our books! in the shelter of the Pilot House or some say the "Winter Garden"

Noon 6th December at Sea

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